If you were online sometime around midnight this morning, chances are you had trouble accessing a fair number of sites for about an hour or so. You were not alone, as quite a fair chunk of the internet did indeed go down for a brief moment. This affected sites that are connected via content distribution network Akamai.
Among the company’s clients include the likes of Steam, Disney, Amazon, and PlayStation, just to name a few. And these went down due to a bug during a software configuration update. As Akamai explains, this was solved via an update rollback.
Akamai Summarizes Service Disruption (RESOLVED)
At 15:46 UTC today, a software configuration update triggered a bug in the DNS system, the system that directs browsers to websites. This caused a disruption impacting availability of some customer websites. (1/3)
— Akamai Technologies (@Akamai) July 22, 2021
Intermittent outages these days are surprisingly common. The previous one occurred just last month, affecting another CDN called Fastly. Similar to this one with Akamai, a software bug sent sites like Reddit, Twitch and CNN offline for about an hour as well. Prior to that, TechCrunch reports that Cloudflare and Amazon’s own Web Services had their own outages, kicking their clients’ sites offline.
For what it’s worth, it’s fortunate that the outages are relatively short. But it does show that our internet is extremely reliant on new key players. If they get hit hard, and take a long time to recover, millions of people will be pulling their hair out in frustration.