Fastly outage takes major websites down

Many leading internet sites suffered a significant outage today as a result of problems experienced by Fastly, one of the world’s major CDN services providers.

Amazon, Twitter and CNN were among those hit by the outage, which lasted for about an hour.

Fastly said that it was “investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services” at 09:58 UTC this morning and reported that it had identified the problem and that a potential fix was being implemented at 10:44.

Ten minutes later, the tech giant said that “the issue has been identified and a fix has been applied” but warned that “customers may experience increased origin load as global services return”.

Websites using Fastly’s network in Europe, North America, South America, Africa and India were affected, with 503 error messages appearing on many sites.

Fastly, which in addition to CDN services also provides streaming media services among other things, has been a pioneer in edge computing, designed to speed up loading times for sites and helping to deal with bursty web traffic.

For some, the outage has highlighted the reliance of the web on a relatively small number of CDN providers.

Toby Stephenson, CTO at IT and cybersecurity specialist Neuways said that the incident highlighted “the reliance of many of the world’s biggest websites on content delivery networks” of which there are “so few” that “these outages can occur from time-to-time”,

Gaz Jones, technical director of digital agency Think3 said: “This is what happens when half of the internet relies on Goliaths like Amazon, Google and Fastly for all of its servers and web services. The entire internet has become dangerously geared on just a few players.”


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