Dozens of major websites affected by massive global outage

Publish Date
Tue, 8 Jun 2021, 10:34PM
(Photo / Microsoft)
(Photo / Microsoft)

Dozens of major websites affected by massive global outage

Publish Date
Tue, 8 Jun 2021, 10:34PM

Numerous websites went offline Wednesday night after an apparent widespread outage at the cloud service company Fastly.

Dozens of high-traffic websites including the New York Times, CNN, Twitch, Reddit, and the U.K. government's home page, could not be reached.

Locally, TradeMe, RNZ and TVNZ were affected by the issue.

San Francisco-based Fastly acknowledged a problem just before 1000 GMT. It said in repeated updates on its website that it was "continuing to investigate the issue."

About an hour later, the company said: "The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return."

A number of sites that were hit early appeared to be coming back online.

Some visitors trying to access CNN.com got a message that said: "Fastly error: unknown domain: cnn.com." Attempts to access the Financial Times website turned up a similar message while visits to the New York Times and U.K. government's gov.uk site returned an "Error 503 Service Unavailable" message, along with the line "Varnish cache server," which is a technology that Fastly is built on.

Other sites hit included Amazon, Spotify, Pinterest, alongside multiple Australian news sites.

Fastly describes itself as an "edge cloud platform." It provides vital behind-the-scenes cloud computing services to many of the web's high profile sites, by helping them them to store, or "cache," content in servers around the world so that it's closer to users.

A CDN is a content delivery network that caches data in localised regional servers, allowing websites to serve content faster.

"Only a handful of CDNs are capable of managing the traffic requirements of big sites, which means a lot of responsibility lies at the hands of very few centralised server networks," reported the 9to5Mac technical website.

Ironically, Fastly's website is still operational. 

More to come