Downfall of many of the world’s largest web pages – Here’s what we know at the moment

Online services are returning to normal after a large-scale blackout plunged some parts of the world into an Internet outage.

Several websites around the world, including major media outlets such as the New York Times, Le Monde, the BBC, The Guardian, Financial Times, as well as the Reddit platform, were inaccessible on Tuesday after an internet blackout. which lasted about an hour.

The sites displayed messages such as “Error 503 Service Unavailable” or “Connection Failure”.

Euronews online services were also partially affected by the blackout.

In addition to the media, government sites were also affected, including in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The website, which includes government departments and many UK public services, said “Error 503 Service Unavailable” around 11.20 CET.

The White House website displayed the message “This page does not work” at approximately the same time.

What caused the outage?

A problem at Fastly, a popular US-based content delivery network (CDN) provider, is believed to be the reason for large-scale outages around the world.

Fastly confirmed the outage on its website Tuesday morning. In a short message to euronews they confirmed that the problem was global.

An update on its website at 1pm (CET) said that the problem had been identified and “a solution had been applied.” The link allows you to follow the evolution of the incident.

What does this mean and what are CDNs?

CDNs (Content Distribution Networks) are a fundamental part of the Internet infrastructure. Businesses around the world rely on server banks to improve Internet performance and access to online services. One way to do this is with CDNs, which cache data closer to the user to make the web pages easier to use. Especially the heavier ones, and with more elements like news websites.

As the problem did not come from servers but from these CDNs, depending on the connection of each user, some could access without problems while others received the famous 503 error.

The idea of ​​content delivery networks (CDNs) is to eliminate potential data bottlenecks in the supply of the Internet, and their use has grown steadily around the world to help provide access to live streaming services and the Internet. letter, applications and social media platforms.

The result of a flaw in Fastly, which describes itself as an “edge cloud platform,” is that Internet users have been unable to access content and services depending on the proximity of the CDN they use.

Fastly is heavily used by data-intensive media outlets, which is why news sites, in particular, were negatively affected by the outage. The drop in Amazon’s online sales operations was also reported.

Deliveroo, Pinterest and Shazam are also prominent customers of the provider.

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