How one customer Fastly broke the Internet

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Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos (Getty Images) – A technology vendor, called Fastly, experienced a major failure in the weeks of Tuesday morning that unintentionally broke some of the largest web sites. We know why now. Fastly Engineering VP Nick Rockwell explained in a blog post published late yesterday that “the company has experienced a global outage due to an unfinding… His internet connection has been reconfigured.

In mid-May, Fastly published a software update on Rockwell’s blog that accidentally pre-packed the bug under certain circumstances. In the early morning hours of the 8th of June one of Fastlyâ€These circumstances unwittingly brought about a “valid change of configuration” rejigging their internet connection. 85 percent of the network of Fastly began to make mistakes, stopped loading sites, and the global pandemonium ensuit.

Rockwell explained that Fastly noticed the “one minute” global outage and then quickly patched the problem. “95% of our network was working normally within 49 minutes,” he wrote. “We were very sorry that this outage had an extensive and severe effect on our clients and all who depend on them.”

That’s a lot of people, it turns out. Together with companies such as Cloudflare and Akami, Fastly is one of the so-called ‘Content Dispensing Network’ (CDNs), which supports large parts of the internet by enabling sites to store their data in their own clouds. Saving data like this not only means that content reaches your browser quicker, it also means it can be accessed by more people simultaneously.

This is what should happen, at least. Tech hiccups are always in existence, however, and CDN is not immune. Back in 2019, Cloudflare experienced a similar failing that Fastly experienced this week with platforms such as Dropbox, Medium, and Soundcloud inadvertently. The lack of 4 hours of AWS knocked sites like Spotify and Netflix in 2017. If the handful of technology companies that support the internet are as failed as any other technology company, you have to ask whether that consolidation of power is a good thing.