A massive global website outage linked to US-based cloud company Fastly swept across the internet, affecting international, government, media, e-commerce and news websites. The unexpected outage impacted high traffic websites, including Amazon, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, Reddit, Quora, CNN, Paypal, Vimeo and Spotify. Most of these sites appeared back after a few minutes to around an hour.
Visitors receive error messages while accessing websites, including Error 503 Service Unavailable and a slight connection failure during the worldwide outrage. The Guardian’s UK technology correspondent Alex Hern wrote in a series of tweets that the massive internet outage had been traced to a failure in a content delivery network (CDN) run by a cloud computing services provider, Fastly.
A CDN refers to a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content. The majority of web traffic across the globe today is routed within CDNs, and many Companies rely on these CDNs to help protect their sites against traffic spikes, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, etc.
The website is just a collection of codes and pages. These codes help dictate the layout of a page and content. When we use the browser to navigate to a page, the webserver examines that request and extracts the information from its database and displays the relevant web page, and when a web server can’t handle that request, the page shows Error 503 on the screen.
Issues with CDNs caused trouble previously in 2020 when Cloudflare, another leading global cloud platform, had faced issues that impacted its client websites. The Cloudflare glitch resulted i3n the shutdown of Discord, Feedly, Politico, Shopify, and League of Legends.
Fastly hasn’t commented thoroughly on the issues other than an outage message on the company’s status page that says the issue has been identified and a fix has been implemented. They also added customers might experience increased origin load as global services return. It also noted that all of its geographies, including the three stations Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi in India, suffered from degraded performance.