Tuesday 8 June 2021 2:26 pm

World's biggest websites back online after Fastly-linked crash

A major server issue which saw thousands of news, social media and government websites including Bloomberg and the New York Times crash today has been fixed.

The issue was confirmed to be a glitch at US-based cloud computing services provider Fastly, who identified and fixed a major disruption issue.

Amazon, CNN, Reddit, the Guardian, the Independent, BBC News, the Spectator, the Financial Times and the UK government website were all down this morning.

Nearly 21,000 Reddit users also reported issues with the social media platform, while more than 2,000 reported problems with Amazon.

All affected websites came back up after outages that ranged from a few minutes to around an hour.

“Fastly has observed recovery of all services and has resolved this incident,” the company said this afternoon.

“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.

The firm, which went public in 2019 and has a market capitalization of more than $5bn, helps websites move content using less-congested routes, enabling them to reach consumers faster.

“This global outage that affects many high-profile companies does highlight the dependency we have on cloud services and their availability,” said Sergio Loureiro, Cloud Security Director at Outpost24.

“This directly impacts many businesses, including for example Reddit whose entire business is based around their website.”

Was it fixed Fastly?

The issue began shortly after 11am and was largely resolved by around midday.

“It is remarkable that within ten minutes, one outage can send the world into chaos,” said Mark Rodbert, CEO of Idax.

“This demonstrates the extent to which the move to the cloud has changed the things that companies need to protect.”

Fastly runs an “edge cloud” which is designed to speed up loading times for websites and help them deal with bursts of traffic.

Users were greeted with this message

Users on Twitter speculated about the reasons behind the problem, with Guardian journalist Alex Hern tweeting: “That technology inherently requires Fastly to sit between most of its clients and their users, meaning that if the service suffers a catastrophic failure, it can prevent those companies from operating on the net at all.”

Some sites, including BBC, were able to restore services sooner than others by switching their systems away from Fastly’s network.