Eggs and baskets

About a week ago a large chunk of the Web vanished for a few hours as Fastly experienced a major outage in their Web cache service. Popular sites like Reddit, the BBC, Amazon and much of the UK government online services suddenly presented blank pages. There was much finger-pointing for days afterwards, then Cloudflare goes down last Friday (more fingers pointing) and today with many of those fingers finally holstered we suddenly find ourselves in the middle of an Akamai outage. Fingers out and reloading!

The thing about these services is that they are mainly caches: intermediary services that optimise the delivery of content from the origin sites. Unfortunately, when they go down, the origin sites do not just go back to some kind of sub-optimal delivery, they go back to nothing. Caches and content delivery networks are not just a means of optimising delivery, they have become the actual means of delivery, and so many major sites on the Web are totally dependent on them.

Expect more baskets to tumble and eggs to break.

Categorised as: Networking, Technology, Web

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