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FACTBOX-Fastly, the cloud company behind a global internet outage

06/08/2021 | 08:50am EDT

LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - A major global internet outage that took several websites offline on Tuesday was caused by a problem at cloud computing company Fastly Inc's real-time content delivery network (CDN).

High traffic sites including news providers The Guardian, Financial Times and New York Times, as well as the British government and Amazon were hit by the outage, which lasted for more than an hour.

What is Fastly?

U.S.-listed Fastly, founded in 2011, operates a CDN, a distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of content.

It moves content closer to end users, in theory helping sites manage traffic spikes and mitigate security threats.

The company says putting data and applications at the edge of the network results in a better experience for users, enabling pages to load quicker and sites to manage high volumes of page requests better, for example in a breaking news situation.

What did Fastly say?

Fastly said it was investigating an issue with its CDN services at 0958 UTC (GMT) on Tuesday. "We're currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services," it said on its service status page.

At 1044 UTC it said the issue had been identified and a fix was being implemented. UTC is the same as GMT.

At 1057 UTC, it said the issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.

A company spokesperson said: "We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs (points of presence) globally and have disabled that configuration. Our global network is coming back online."

Websites were rumbling back to life shortly after it said the fix had been applied.

What is Fastly worth?

Shares in Fastly, which went public in 2019, peaked at $136.5 in October. They closed on Monday at $50.7, giving the San Francisco-based company a market capitalisation of $5.87 billion.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Toby Sterling and Elvira Pollina. Editing by Jane Merriman)

© Reuters 2021
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