Thousands of government, news and social media websites across the globe were coming back online Tuesday after getting hit by a widespread hour-long outage linked to US-based cloud company Fastly. High traffic sites — including Reddit, Amazon, CNN, Paypal, Spotify, Al Jazeera Media Network, the New York Times, Financial Times, the Guardian, and Bloomberg News — went down, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com. They came back up after outages that ranged from a few minutes to around an hour. “Our global network is coming back online,” Fastly said. One of the world’s most widely-used cloud-based content delivery network providers, the company earlier reported a disruption from a “service configuration” and did not explain. “Incidents like this underline the fragility of the internet and its dependence on a patchwork of fragmented technology. Ironically, this also underlines its inherent strength and how quickly it can recover,” Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight said. “The fact that an outage like this can grab headlines around the world shows how rare it is.” Fastly, which went public in 2019 and has a market capitalization of under $6 billion, is far smaller than peers like Amazon’s AWS. The company’s content delivery network (CDN) helps websites move content using less-congested routes, enabling them to reach consumers faster. “In the grand scheme of things, we actually think that this is a little bit of a positive for other CDNs and also just shows how difficult managing a CDN can be,” said James Fish, analyst at Piper Sandler & Co. Apart from Fastly, the other main CDN providers include Akamai Technologies, Cloudera and AWS. The UK’s attorney general earlier tweeted that the country’s main gov.uk website was down, providing an email for queries.
The disruption may have affected citizens booking Covid-19 vaccinations or reporting test results, the Financial Times reported.