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Major websites back up after Fastly outage restored

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news websites

A major outage has impacted news websites and government web pages around the world, impacting CNN, BBC News, the Guardian and Australian titles including The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Countless popular websites including Reddit, Spotify, Twitch, Stack Overflow, GitHub, gov.uk, Hulu, HBO Max, Quora, PayPal, Vimeo, Shopify, Stripe, and news outlets CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC and Financial Times went offline Tuesday evening.

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.

A glitch at Fastly, a popular CDN provider, is thought to be the reason, according to a product manager at Financial Times.

Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services.”

fastly statement

Some websites are slowly coming back up. “The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented,” Fastly says on its status page.

Among those affected are Amazon, Twitch, Reddit, The Verge, The Guardian, ZDnet, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Pinterest, Kickstarter, Ebay, The Telegraph, CNN, and Imgur. Google searches are also partially impacted, as is the Google Cloud Platform. While Twitter is up, its emoji platform is offline.

https://twitter.com/tickerNEWSco/status/1402224477044240385?s=20

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a key part of the internet infrastructure. These companies run global networks of servers to improve performance and availability of web services.

CDNs act as proxy servers and cache some data as close to the end user as possible. 

Fastly in particular is quite popular with media websites. The company went public in 2019. Fastly shares (NYSE:FSLY) are currently trading at $48.06, down 5.21% compared to yesterday’s closing price.

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.

Rival, AWS lists no disruptions to its cloud or CloudFront service. Web infrastructure company CloudFlare is currently performing firewall maintenance, which it said could cause delays to GraphQL API Nodes for Firewall Analytics, firewallEventsAdaptive, firewallEventsAdaptiveGroups, and firewallEventsAdaptiveByTimeGroups. However, it is not believed to be the cause of the outage.

Fastly 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.

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