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Fastly Failure Causes Widespread Internet Outage

Credit: Unsplash

If the internet suddenly vanished, many would be lost as both work and leisure heavily rely on it. Early this morning, around 5:40 AM Eastern time, a significant portion of websites worldwide became unreachable. This included popular sites like The New York Times, Reddit, Hulu, Amazon, Twitch, Spotify, and even the UK government’s website, causing widespread concern.

The culprit behind this outage was a software malfunction within Fastly, a prominent content delivery network (CDN) that supports various websites globally. Fastly’s role is to boost website speed and prevent traffic congestion that can result in cyberattacks. A problematic software update within Fastly’s infrastructure caused a major portion of its network to fail, leading to severe slowdowns and inaccessibility for many sites.

Fortunately, Fastly’s engineers swiftly identified the issue, and within an hour, services were mostly restored, albeit with some delays due to the backlog. This incident shed light on the vulnerability of the internet infrastructure while also showcasing the swift response and expertise of those managing it.

“No internet system is foolproof, so the key is how efficiently a major internet company like Fastly can recover from such rare outages,” commented Doug Madory, director of internet analysis for Kentik. “In this instance, the recovery time was less than an hour.”

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