8 June 2021

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT gave its reaction to the massive internet outage that affected websites including the Guardian, the UK government’s website gov.uk, Amazon and Reddit. It was traced to a failure in a content delivery network (CDN) run by Fastly.

Adam Leon Smith, BCS Fellow and software testing expert said: “Given the nature of this kind of technology, it probably wasn’t a software issue. It’s more likely to have been a physical issue or a hardware failure somewhere.

“Some of the websites will have removed their dependency on Fastly in order to get themselves back online.’

He added: “Outages with Content Delivery Networks highlight the growing ecosystem of complex and coupled components that are involved in delivering internet services. Because of this, outages are increasingly hitting multiple sites and services at the same time.”

Websites were down for more than an hour from 11am UK time, with visitors receiving error messages including, “Error 503 service unavailable” and “connection failure”. Adam Leon Smith correctly predicted that the sites would be back up within a few hours.

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