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Cloudflare outage brings down large parts of the internet second time in a week

An outage at Cloudflare resulted in multiple sites across the globe going down for over an hour on June 21 afternoon.

What happened? An outage at content delivery network Cloudflare resulted in multiple sites across the globe going down for over an hour on June 21 afternoon. As of 1:40 PM Indian Standard Time, Cloudflare updated that the issue has been resolved.

Which sites went down? Global platforms that suffered from the outage include Discord, Shopify, Steam, Fitbit, Skype, League of Legends, UPS, Coinbase, Udemy and some of Cloudflare’s own services (for more). Among the Indian sites, brokerage firms Zerodha and Upstox tweeted that their services were affected.

Why does this matter? The outage is a reminder of how few key companies—like Cloudflare, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Fastly, and Google Cloud—that run the internet backbone infrastructure can have an outsized impact on businesses globally.

Why is this bad for Cloudflare? Services like Cloudflare bank on their low downtime numbers to attract customers. But outages like these harm the company’s reputation. Moreover, Cloudflare, just as recently as last week suffered another outage that affected multiple companies for over two hours. And last year, the company experienced similar issues in July and August.

What’s the reason behind the outage? Cloudflare is yet to issue a statement on what caused the outage, but stated the following on its website:  “A critical P0 incident was declared at approximately 06:34 AM UTC. Connectivity in Cloudflare’s network has been disrupted in broad regions. Customers attempting to reach Cloudflare sites in impacted regions will observe 500 errors. The incident impacts all data plane services in our network.”

“Not worldwide but a lot of places. Problem with our backbone. We know what. Rollbacks etc. happening. Bring it back up in chunks. Should be back up everywhere,” John Graham-Cumming, CTO of Cloudflare said in a Hacker News thread.

MediaNama has reached out to Cloudflare for a statement and will update this post once we get a response.

Update (21 June, 3:55 pm): 

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Cloudflare statement: 

“Earlier today Cloudflare saw an outage across parts of our network. This was not the result of an attack. A network change in some of our data centers caused a portion of our network to be unavailable. Due to the nature of the incident, customers may have had difficulty reaching websites and services that rely on Cloudflare from approximately 0628-0720 UTC. Cloudflare was working on a fix within minutes, and the network is running normally now.

Given Cloudflare’s scale and the percentage of the Internet that relies on our network, when we have problems it is vital that we are open and transparent about what happened, why it happened, and what we’re doing to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We will release a post-mortem later today on our blog.”

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