Several big websites, including Twitch, Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, HBO Max, Quora, PayPal, Vimeo, the New York Times, BBC, Financial Times, the UK government website, and others, were reported to be down on Tuesday, June 8th, owing to a probable problem at Fastly, a famous CDN provider.
Fastly has verified problems with its CDN services and claims it is looking into them. But what exactly is a CDN ? and why it had such an influence on so many worldwide websites? Let’s have a little talk about CDN first.
What is CDN?
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a widely dispersed network of servers that helps reduce the physical distance between the server and the user, resulting in faster loading of web page content. This allows people all around the world to access the same high-quality material without having to wait for it to load.
Without a CDN, content origin servers are responsible for responding to each and every end-user request. If the traffic spikes are excessively large or the load is continuous, this results in large traffic to the origin and subsequent load, increasing the likelihood of origin failure.
How does a CDN work?
A content delivery network handles more than half of all internet traffic (CDN). The CDN’s purpose is to minimize latency – the time it takes for a web page to fully load on your device after you submit a request – by lowering the physical distance the request must travel.
For example, if a visitor from the United States wants to see material from a UK-based server, the request will take longer to load since it must go over the Atlantic.
To counteract this, CDNs cache your website content in various geographical locations throughout the world, referred to as “points of presence” (PoPs).
The end-user will be mapped to an optimally-located CDN server for most CDNs, and the server will respond with the cached (pre-saved) version of the requested files for most CDNs.
Why Fastly faced Global Outage?
Fastly, a worldwide CDN supplier to some of the world’s most popular websites, reported an outage shortly before 10:00 UTC, causing multiple websites to fall offline.
Fastly’s network stretches around the world, aggregating traffic for a variety of websites. When a CDN component goes down, it impacts all websites serviced by that component. Fastly, for example, has five locations in India with active or planned ports of presence (caching server infrastructure).
Websites utilizing Fastly’s CDN would look sluggish or unavailable to users in India if any or all of these servers went down. Depending on how serious the outage is, it might impair traffic locally or internationally.
By 10:57 UTC, they had quickly responded to the disruption and had sent out a remedy. Fastly customer websites will continue to experience “increased origin load” when the services were brought back up, according to their status page.
This implies that without a middleman to cache pictures and files, queries from millions of users will go straight to a website’s primary servers, potentially slowing down response time.
Users in India may access impacted websites such as Twitch, Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, HBO Max, and Quora at the time of writing.