Countless websites and apps around the world went down Tuesday after Fastly, a major content delivery network, reported a widespread failure.
Fastly supports news sites and apps like CNN, the Guardian, the New York Times and many others. It also provides content delivery for Twitch, Pinterest, HBO Max, Hulu, Reddit, Spotify and other services.
Other major internet platforms and sites including Amazon, Target, and the UK government website — Gov.uk — were affected.
The problem appeared to be related to an outage at Fastly, a cloud service provider. The company said on its service status website (which was working) Tuesday morning it had identified the problem and fixed the issue — but many sites were still unavailable for some users at 7 a.m. ET.
Fastly helps improve load times for websites and provides other services to internet sites, apps and platforms — including a large global server network.
Major website and app outages happen from time to time and typically don’t last long — internet service providers, content delivery networks and other hosting services are built with multiple redundancies and a global network of backup servers designed to reduce disruptions when things go haywire.
In August 2020, CenturyLink, an internet service provider that is supposed to keep websites up and running, was down itself for the better part of a day. That meant Cloudflare, Hulu, the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Feedly, Discord, and dozens of other services reported connectivity problems. When Cloudflare — a content delivery network like Fastly — went down, it took dozens of website and online services along with it.