At around 5:49 AM ET on Tuesday, a major Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider Fastly went down, taking along a large number of notable websites and applications along with it. The problem lasted for about an hour, as traffic started picking up around 6:39 AM ET.
So, what exactly are CDNs? Well, CDNs are service providers that optimize the delivery of web and other digital content to users all across the globe. The main purpose of placing a CDN between a website or application is to reduce the load times.
Over the past few months, CDNs have experienced massive uptick in demand, as the user base of websites, apps and other digital content over the internet grew. CDNs reduce the load time by maintaining cached versions of web pages and other content over the web.
Some of the most notable names being served by Fastly, which were affected include the CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times and a few other news providers. The notable apps affected by the issue included Twitch, Pinterest, HBO Max, Hulu, Reddit and few others.
According to Fastly, the problem was restored around 7 AM ET. Due to the trickle down effect though, some users still experienced longer load times even after the above time. However, Fastly says that the problem has been fully resolved.
The issue was caused by a service configuration, which ultimately triggered a major disruption across the company’s servers. This faulty configuration was part of a software update, which went bad and caused the whole mayhem.
A similar issue was caused as a result of software updates at even larger online platforms like Google and Amazon, causing a part of their services to go offline as well. CDNs also reduce load times by serving users with the physically closest servers on their network.