Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing

'Potential impact to performance' drops some of the world's biggest websites offline


Updated A not-inconsiderable chunk of the World Wide Web, including news sites, social networks, developer sites, and even the UK government's primary portal, has been knocked offline by an apparent outage at edge cloud specialist Fastly – though your indefatigable The Register remains aloft.

Mid-morning UK time (09:58 UTC) today, reports began to flood in about errors on a range of seemingly disparate sites: everywhere from Reddit, Twitter, GitHub, Stackoverflow, The Guardian, The Verge, and crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to GOV.UK, the UK government's primary web platform, had started to throw 503 cache errors or connection failure messages to would-be visitors.

Ironically, even legendary webcomic xkcd fell offline.

The root cause, according to security expert Mikko Hypponen and others in the field: Fastly, an edge-centric cloud computing specialist founded in 2011 by former Wikia chief technical officer Artur Bergman, which is apparently having a bad start to the day.

"Fastly edge platform is having problems, which means a big part of the internet is having problems. This includes Twitter. Even fastly.com itself is unavailable in many locations," Hypponen wrote of the outage. "Basically, internet is down."

fastly outage

Click to enlarge

Boasting 1,000 employees and an annual revenue of $200m, Fastly is responsible for optimising websites – primarily through its content delivery network (CDN), which appears to have been at the heart of today's outage.

Fastly's status page confirmed "potential impact to performance with our CDN service" starting at 09:58 UTC today – which is a somewhat understated way of putting the glitch. At the time of writing, investigations were under way with no timescale yet provided for a fix.

A spokesperson for Fastly confirmed to The Register that the company is "aware of the issue and can confirm it's global," and that "all hands are on deck and working hard to resolve." ®

Updated to add at 10:48 UTC

Fastly updated its status at 10:44 UTC to say the issue had been "identified and a fix is being implemented."

Updated to add at 11:03 UTC

Fastly has applied the fix, and told customers at 11:57 UK time (10:57 UTC) they "may experience increased origin load as global services return."

To our readers affected, we offer a virtual beer or colddrink. We hope the rest of this day goes better.


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