How and why major worldwide websites experienced a downfall simultaneously

Tuesday, June 8th. Users had trouble accessing some high-profile websites such as Spotify, Amazon, Reddit and some worldwide online news channel such as The New York Times and The Guardian. If for some reason you did not notice that, for sure someone mentioned it to you. Bottomline, it left many people wondering: what happened?

This universal downfall was caused by a problem in an American internet network provider called Fastly. According to Fastly, the issue was first noticed at 6h58 and lasted about an hour. Enough to spread the word around the globe.

Not only social networks and major news websites were affected: this downfall had repercussions even on official public institution websites such as the UK government website.

But what is Fastly and why it affected so many high-profile websites worldwide?

Fastly is a cloud computing service provider that in 2017 launched a cloud-based platform that optimizes user experience in websites, mainly focused on decreasing loading time and speeding up website loading.

If a user accesses a website hosted in another country, for example, heavier content such as photos, videos and audios will load considerably faster than usual. For instance, during the last presidential US elections, The New York Times had over 2 million readers simultaneously in their website thanks to this loading capacity.

How did it affect major websites?

In simple terms, Fastly acts between front and back-end of a website. Therefore, if any error occurs in the provider’s system, all websites using it might also experience errors, which is what happened June 8th.

Since this is a cloud-based service, errors will affect simultaneously and similarly all websites using this technology. Eventually, users might receive errors when trying to access these websites.

Another issue has also received a lot of attention thanks to this downfall: how major worldwide websites depend on a single service provider, that eventually detains crucial information. Cloud-based services are still a relatively small market, resulting in a small number of companies serving a huge number of high-profile clients, which was the case with Fastly.

When dealing with cloud-based solutions, make sure to have a trusted technology partner and tailor-made solutions that will deliver results and keep your organization’s security in focus. Talk to Madiff today.

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