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Tanya Valdez is a Technical Writer at Constellix. She makes the information-transfer material digestible through her own transfer of information to our customers and readers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
On the heels of Fastly’s major outage on June 8, 2021, Akamai, another one of the largest content delivery network (CDN) providers, experienced a massive service disruption today (June 17, 2021).
Websites of some of the big U.S. airline companies suffered interruptions, including Delta, United, American, and Southwest. Southwest has had a week full of delays and cancellations due to problems with a weather data supplier and intermittent performance issues with their network connectivity.” Just as Southwest has announced that they are resuming normal operations after recuperating from their reservation computer issue, their CDN provider Akamai experiences an outage.
Major Australian banks were affected by the outage—ANZ, Westpac, St George, ME bank, Macquarie Bank, Allianz, and the Commonwealth Bank. Services for the country’s postal service Australia Post and Virgin Australia, which is reportedly the country’s second-biggest carrier, were also hindered.
Akamai confirmed the issues were on their end as they told news agency AFP, “We are aware of the issue and actively working to restore services as soon as possible.” Akamai Technologies confirmed that it was the segment of their Prolexic platform that was impacted on their official Twitter account.
The CDN giant released a resolution status update on their website that included the following:
Akamai experienced an outage for one of its Prolexic DDoS services (Routed 3.0) starting at 4:20 AM UTC. We detected the issue immediately, and impacted customers received an error alert within seconds. The impact was limited to Akamai customers using version 3.0 of the Routed service. Many of the approximately 500 customers using this service were automatically rerouted, which restored operations within a few minutes. The large majority of the remaining customers manually rerouted shortly thereafter. The issue was not caused by a system update or a cyberattack. A routing table value used by this particular service was inadvertently exceeded. The effect was an unanticipated disruption of service. We restored the service by 8:47 AM UTC, and customers began the process of routing back on to the service at that time.
Downdetector shows the spike in outage reports around 12:00 a.m. CST. The service appears to be restored in most areas.
This latest Akamai outage isn’t the only downtime that has disrupted major businesses and their customers that use them. In fact, there have been numerous DNS and cloud-related outages in 2021 alone that have left thousands of domains in the dark and out of millions of dollars.
Just last week, CDN provider Fastly experienced an outage. While the issue was mostly resolved within an hour, organizations that relied on them will continue to pay the cost well after the incident due to the cost of mitigation, decreased staff productivity, and the hit to brand reputation.
With today’s reliance on the internet for nearly every aspect of our lives—work, education, travel, medical needs, groceries, social connections, and play—brands cannot afford downtime of any kind. Consumer expectations are higher than ever and the internet has significantly increased competition worldwide.
All businesses should consider this question: Do you want your customers to go elsewhere because your provider had an outage?
While internet usage continues to grow, so do outages—most of which could have been completely avoided with redundancy measures in place.
Here is a list of provider outages that occurred in 2020-2021.
Akamai - June 2021
Amazon Web Service - November 2020
Fastly - June 2021
Microsoft - February, March (2), May, June, September (2), October, November, April 2021
Cloudflare - April, July 2020
Network Solutions - March, May 2021
Neustar UltraDNS - May 2021
Dyn/Oracle - 2021
Google - January, March, April, June, August 2020, April 2021
GoDaddy November 2020,
Most of the aforementioned providers have a long history of outages, dating back to 2011 or longer, and isn’t an exhaustive list.
As fragility in the industry leaves major corporations and their users exposed, there are options that can assist in mitigating major issues before they arise. Multi-CDN services would have added extra redundancy by having two providers available to deliver domain content. Airline flights, bank transactions, and postal services are mission-critical and outages should not be tolerated. Internet is so important to everyone around the globe and redundancy needs to be established at every point of failure.
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