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Akamai Edge DNS Causes Massive Outage 2021

July 23, 2021
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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.

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A widespread internet outage has left many top websites inaccessible. At around 11:30 a.m. CST, Downdetector displayed connectivity issues for PlayStation Network, Fidelity, FedEx, Steam, AT&T, Amazon, AWS, and many more websites and online services. DNS provider, Cloudflare, was listed among the many services experiencing an outage.

While the connection among the sites is not immediately clear, references to Akamai being the possible source of the outage have been made. The content delivery network (CDN) and DNS management provider is currently investigating “an emerging issue with the Edge DNS service,” according to its official status page.   

Akamai recently experienced a CDN outage last month on June 17, 2021, that left many websites in the dark. 

Sites Affected by the Akamai Edge DNS Outage 

The outage left travelers unable to complete flight reservations, check flight status, or check-in for flights with Delta Air Lines. Expedia, Walt Disney World, and Airbnb were also showing signs of an outage. 

Users trying to access Amazon are unable to log in to the homepage and were experiencing freezing issues on the iOS application. In addition to Steam and PlayStation Network, many video game servers were affected, including Apex Legends, Xbox Live, and Roblox. 

Is Akamai Down?

An hour after Akamai reported to be investigating the issue with their Edge DNS service, they stated the incident had been mitigated. No further details were given as to what the issue was. Service restorations have started to roll out for the websites that were experiencing issues. 

The List of Preventable Outages Grows Longer

This latest multi-provider outage is yet another example of how fragile the internet can be without redundancy. It isn’t just a minor hiccup for businesses and end users, though. When domains go dark because of a DNS or Cloud-related outage, the costs for those affected go well beyond monetary losses—which is significant. It also costs valuable time and hurts brand reputation. 

In 2021 alone, there have already been several major outages, and we are barely over half-way through the year. Even a micro outage (lasting less than an hour) can be a devastating blow to businesses. If history teaches us anything, it is that outages are inevitable without redundancy measures in place. Domains with Secondary DNS or Primary/Primary configurations have not been impacted by Akamai’s latest unfortunate event.

Major Internet Outages in 2020 and 2021

Here is a list of provider outages that occurred in 2020-2021, most of which were avoidable. Many of these providers also have a history of outages, dating back as far as 2011 or earlier. 

Akamai - June 2021, July 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, 

DNS Redundancy is a Must in 2021

With today’s reliance on the internet, it’s critical that brands stay online 100% of the time. Every organization should make redundancy a priority. Doing so will not only prevent costly mishaps from provider outages, but will also keep customers happy and brand reputation intact. Redundancy is a win-win for everyone.

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