Websites working again after global outage caused by Fastly

  • A global outage, which caused a number of major websites to stop working, appears to be fixed by cloud computing provider Fastly, which was behind the problems.

    Fastly supports multiple websites, including Reddit, Twitch, Amazon and the UK government website - - all of which crashed for around an hour today at 11am BST.

    In a statement, Fastly said: "We identified a service configuration that triggered disruption across our POPs (points of presence) globally and have disabled that configuration.

    "Our global network is coming back online."

    Mark Hendry, Director of Data Protection and Cyber Security at global legal business, DWF explained: "Fastly provide content delivery network ("CDN") services to companies. The intention of CDNs is to route (or distribute) internet traffic and services through 'nodes' in order to balance the load of traffic, prevent bottlenecks and result in high availability and faster content delivery. 

    "Requests for content are directed by an algorithm, for instance the algorithm might direct the traffic so that it routes through the most available or highest performing node, or so that the traffic takes the fastest network route to the requestor.  This is the reason that some internet users are reporting no issues with accessing content that is unavailable to others – for instance individuals from Berlin are reporting via Twitter that they can access website content that users in London cannot access."

    In other words, it seems as though the problems were localised, meaning specific locations across Europe and the US were affected.

    Other affected websites included CNN, Hulu, the Guardian, Financial Times, Independent and the New York Times. Other services were disrupted in different ways, including Twitter's emojis.

    BBC News reported that similar problems have previously affected Amazon Web Services - another huge cloud computing firm.

    The outage has led questioning why so much internet infrastructure is in the hands of only a few companies, meaning when something goes wrong it causes mass disruption. 

    Adam Smith, a software testing expert with BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, said that outages with content delivery networks "highlight the growing ecosystem of complex and coupled components that are involved in delivering internet services".

    "Because of this, outages are increasingly hitting multiple sites and services at the same time," he continued.

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