hometechnology NewsAkamai outage explained: It's a world wide web with just three big cloud service providers

Akamai outage explained: It's a world wide web with just three big cloud service providers

Akamai outage explained: It's a world wide web with just three big cloud service providers

By CNBCTV18.com Jul 23, 2021 9:15:11 PM IST (Published)

There were 481 global outages in the week of June 12-19. The most recent one on July 22 involved Akamai and affected Amazon, SBI, HDFC Bank, Instagram, British Airways, among many others.

Cloud services and digital infrastructure provider Akamai Technologies had an outage lasting for an hour on the night of July 22, shutting down many online, digital and mobile applications and websites. Akamai had alerted about an "Edge DNS" service incident but mentioned a "partial outage" on its website.

What is Akamai?
Akamai Edge DNS (Domain Name System) is a service that keeps websites, apps and services running smoothly and securely. DNS, like a phone book for the internet, is a service that translates readable domain names to machine readable IP addresses, connecting it to a server and delivering the requested page on the user's devices.
Several internet and app companies hire services from Akamai, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company. It claims to be the world’s largest and most sophisticated edge platform, trusted by the Global 500, and offering fast, intelligent, secure and cloud-agnostic digital experiences along with uncompromised security and 24/7/365 monitoring through 240,000 servers globally.
What Set off Bug?
Akamai said on Twitter that the issue was caused by a software update, which triggered a bug. Normal service operations were resumed and it said it will continue to monitor the situation. It also clarified that it was not a cyberattack.

Who were Affected?
Disrupted platforms included Zomato, Paytm, State Bank of India,  HDFC Bank, Airbnb, BSNL, Disney+Hotstar, Swiggy, HomeDepot; gaming services such as PlayStation Network, Steam; parts of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Instagram and WhatsApp, among others.
Several airlines such as Delta, British Airways and parcel companies such as UPS were also impacted by the outage.
Rising Graph of Outages
Akamai’s outage on July 22 is the second such one by delivery networks in just two months. The dependence of critical industries (such as airlines) on Akamai and Fastly is worrisome.
There were 360 global internet outages (up 28 percent) in the week of July 10-16, said the S&P Global report, adding that this marked the third successive week (in July) of growing instances, as per data from Cisco's ThousandEyes.
There were 481 global outages in the week of June 12-19, the highest in the last 90 days. Amazon suffered the most during a five-hour outage while AT&T’s customers in 11 countries were affected.
American cloud computing services provider Fastly had an outage in June, which led to several big websites being unavailable for around 30 minutes.
The global internet network is usually decentralised but three players, namely Amazon Web Services, Akamai and Fastly are the major service providers, leading to a monopoly scenario. This concentration is making the world wide web more vulnerable to frequent outages.
Fastly said that it experienced a global outage on June 8 due to an undiscovered software bug that surfaced when it was triggered by a valid customer configuration change. It claimed to have detected the disruption within one minute.
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