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Fastly outage explained: How one customer broke Amazon, Reddit and the wider internet

CNET: “Tuesday [June 8, 2021] will be remembered as the day the internet broke — before swiftly being fixed again. Early in the morning, websites including Amazon, Reddit, Spotify, Ebay, Twitch, Pinterest and, unfortunately, CNET went offline due to a major outage at a service called Fastly. Everywhere you looked, there were 503 errors and people complaining they couldn’t access key services and news outlets. It all demonstrated just how much of the internet relies on this largely unheard-of cloud computing service. After an investigation into what happened, Fastly published a blog post into exactly what went down — and it turns out the whole incident was triggered by just a single, unnamed Fastly customer… Fastly is a cloud computing service provider, headquartered in San Francisco, that’s been around since 2011. In 2017, it launched an edge cloud platform designed to bring websites closer to the people who use them. Effectively this means that if you’re accessing a website hosted in another country, it will store some of that website closer to you so that there’s no need to waste bandwidth by going to fetch all of that website’s content from far away every time you need it. This makes for faster website load times, and optimizes images, videos and other high-payload content to show up quickly and smoothly when you land on a web page. Among the boasts on the company’s website, it says it made loading pages on Buzzfeed 50% faster and allowed The New York Times to simultaneously handle 2 million readers on election night. Edge computing also performs vital cybersecurity functions, protecting sites from DDoS attacks and bots, as well as providing a web application firewall…”

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