Fastly is at the centre of a major internet outage
Data centre provider Fastly is at the centre of a major internet outage, which is affecting some of the world’s biggest and most popular website.
The Guardian, New York Times, Independent, Financial Times, CNN, Buzzfeed and French newspaper Le Monde have all been posting error messages online, while users have also reported problems with such services as Amazon and Spotify.
Fastly has reported that the outage is affecting sites across Europe and parts of the US, as well as Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.
But just what is Fastly, and what does the company do?
What is Fastly?
Fastly is a content delivery network, which allows internet users to see the content they are after more quickly.
A content delivery network is the name given to a group of servers distributed geographically, which work together to ensure content is delivered speedily to Internet users.
This network allows assets needed to load such online material as videos, images and HTML pages to be transferred quickly to the user.
Most web traffic comes via CDNs these days – although they can improve the performance of websites, they are not a replacement for web hosting companies – those which provide online space for individuals and organisations to have sites on the Internet.
Content delivery networks also able to provide security against some common online attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service Attacks, in which a site is overwhelmed by traffic in a bid to block its normal service.
Fastly describes its network as an ‘edge cloud platform’, which allows developers to extend their core cloud infrastructure to the very edge of the network – bringing it closer to users.
As well as content delivery, Fastly also offers its users video and streaming, image optimisation, cloud security and load balancing services.
Among the major players that use its serves are Reddit, Slack, Airbnb and Spotify.