Several international websites around the world experienced a global internet outage for about half an hour on June 8, 2021, due to a major fault at Fastly, a popular Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Big names among the news websites category were CNN, New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times, and Verge. Some other prominent websites were Shopify, Vimeo, Quora, HBO Max, Hulu, Pinterest, Spotify, Twitch, Reddit, Amazon.com, Stack Overflow, GitHub, gov.uk, and Paypal, to name a few.
A 503-error kept flashing on the screen to users trying to access these websites. A 503-error means the browser is unable to connect to the server.
What is Fastly?
• Fastly is an American cloud computing services provider that offers Content Delivery Network (CDN) to enable content developers and internet-based companies to extend their core cloud infrastructure closer to end-users thus leading to faster page loads, etc.
Fastly Internet Outage: What caused major websites to crash on 8th June?
• Fastly on June 8, 2021, around 3.28 pm IST issued a state update informing that they are currently investigating potential impact to performance with their CDN services.
• An hour later, they informed that the issue has been fixed. They further said all of its geographically distributed network of servers, including three in India was diagnosed with ‘Degraded Performance’.
What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
• Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers. The purpose of CDNs is to provide fast Internet delivery spatially to end-users.
• CDNs were devised in the late 1990s since then internet content companies have been largely routing their web traffic across the world through CDNs.
• Internet companies with a huge amount of data in global libraries pay CDN operators to host their geographically relevant content closer to where their end users are situated. CDNs also aid the companies in protecting their websites from distributed denial of service (DDOS), traffic spikes attacks, etc.
CDN issue and global outage: Past instances
• Cloudflare, one of the leading global cloud platforms in 2020 had experienced a similar issue with CDN which caused its client websites such as League of Legends, Feedly, Discord, Shopify, and Politico to go down.