Dozens of major websites around the world, including CNN, Amazon, Target, Reddit, the Financial Times, the Guardian and even the UK government website were offline for around an hour on Tuesday morning. The affected websites returned “Error 503” messages. The outage affected dozens of countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia, as well as South Africa. The problem was caused by Fastly, a cloud service provider. Three-quarters of the traffic coming from Fastly disappeared at around 5:49 am ET. The company said on its service status website (which was working) Tuesday morning it had identified the problem and fixed the issue. Service for sites and apps started to be restored around 7 a.m. ET, although Fastly said some customers may experience longer load times as a residual effect of the problem. Fastly helps improve load times for websites and provides other services to internet sites, apps and platforms. Its servers store, or “cache,” content such as images and video in places around the world so that it is closer to users, allowing them to fetch it more quickly and smoothly.The company said in an emailed statement that it was a “technical issue” and “not related to a cyber attack.”
Fastly is a cloud computing service provider, headquartered in San Francisco. The reason it’s so popular is that the services it provides are considered essential by many online web properties. Fastly stock jumped about 6% by midday as investors shrugged off the problem.