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Large swathes of internet go down as Fastly CDN faces issues globally

Huge parts of the Internet, including sites like Reddit, American news sites, and Amazon went down in parts of the world as Fastly Content Delivery Network’s  (CDN) global network took a hit for an hour. Few of the websites that MediaNama checked were back online at the time of this article’s publishing, and Fastly’s Status page indicates that the issue has been fixed.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” Fastly said in an update at 3:28 pm Indian time; over the next hour, Fastly put up the same message: “We are continuing to investigate this issue.” Finally, at 4:27 pm, the company said, a fix had been applied and that it was further monitoring the situation. The company said on Twitter that it had identified a misconfiguration that led to the downtime.

Few websites that faced outage

  • Reddit
  • Spotify
  • Twitch
  • Stack Overflow
  • GitHub
  • gov.uk
  • Hulu
  • HBO Max
  • Quora
  • PayPal
  • Vimeo
  • Shopify
  • Stripe
  • CNN
  • The Guardian
  • The New York Times
  • BBC
  • Financial Times
  • Forbes

A small sample of sites that were earlier down, such as the AV Club, now seem to be accessible. This kind of globally propagating downtime of large swathes of the internet is not uncommon. In 2017, Amazon Web Services had a similar incident, which led to a similarly large number of sites going down for a couple hours.

Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs, transport most of the world’s internet traffic, by acting as a force multiplier to a server by distributing content from a single source to everywhere in the world with a sprawling network of interconnected data centres all over the world. Fastly even has data centre presence in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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