Website crash. What are content delivery networks

Website crash

Today, as Europe approached noon and Latin America began to wake up, Several of the world's most visited websites experienced performance issues. These included social networks like Twitter, video streaming like Twich or Vimeo, content aggregators like Reddit, and media outlets like CNN or The New York Times.

Within the open source community, it is worth mentioning FreeBSD, the new distribution Rocky linux (A fork of CentOS developed by its founder) and Microsoft's proprietary GitHub version control system. GitHub is probably the service that hosts the most open source projects.

The most common joke among programmers is that, with StackOverflow among the harmed sites (a programming question and answer site that according to gossip everyone copies code), most of the guild today took a vacation.

The person responsible for the website crash

Visitors to the affected sites, when trying to interact with them, encountered the error message: "Error 503 Service not available." The issue was related to an outage originating from the Fastly cloud platform and content delivery network (CDN).

At fast they were reported to be experiencing a global disruption to CDN service, resulting in caused varying degrees of performance problems at sites in North America, South America, Europe, Asia / Pacific, South Africa, and India,

The services began to normalize 45 minutes after the first announcement when from Fastly they assured have found the problem and be working on the solution.

It was later reported that the problem had been a service configuration that caused disruptions to your "Points of Presence". The solution was to disable that setting.

What are content delivery networks (CDN)

The Internet is still a physical infrastructure with the limitations of everything physical. The speed of access to the content is determined by two factors: The weight of the file and the distance. A Linux distribution that weighs 1gb will download faster than one that weighs 2gb (If the other factors do not vary. In the same way, if there are two users with the same connection speed, the one that is geographically closer to the origin server ( as long as the other factors are similar) will download it faster.

You cannot always do something to reduce your unloaded weight. In particular, multimedia files run the risk of affecting quality. Therefore, providers work with the other factor, distance.

We call content delivery network (CDN) a group of geographically distributed servers that work together to provide fast content delivery.

By using a CDN content creators have a quick transfer of assets necessary to load all types of web content without the user having to experience a delay. This content includes HTML pages, javascript files, style sheets, images, and videos.

On the other hand, CDNs are an effective protection against several common computer attacks such as distributed denial of service (DDOS)

The servers that are part of a CDN are linked to each other and are usually found at the main connection locations between different Internet providers to provide access to traffic originating from their different networks. In this way, the speed of transit between the data is reduced.

It must be clear that CDN services are not a web hosting service. Its mission is only to provide content whose access speed is critical. For example, if a website uses frameworks such as Bootstrap or jQuery, or the Google font set, the web designer does not need to include the files on the site. Just include the link to the corresponding location.

Of course there is a downside to this. The high cost of having servers in strategic locations around the world is not available to everyone. That is why each of the services needs multiple clients to finance itself. When one of these services goes down, so does much of the Internet.


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