It turns out that this week’s outage of several key websites was all down to just one customer who made a change to their settings.
We are all unfortunately aware of that terrible sinking feeling when you mess up and make an error that inconveniences others, be it at work or in your personal life, and it never gets any easier. That sickening feeling of guilt is hard to dispel even when it wasn’t your fault; but now try imagine how it would feel to accidentally and unknowingly bring down 85% of a major internet network, including the Amazon website, which reportedly lost over $6,800 for every second that it was out of action.
That’s apparently the extent of the wreckage caused by just one unnamed customer of Fastly’s web infrastructure – no word yet whether the poor guy has finally stopped sobbing and rocking back and forth in a corner.
The crisis was triggered on June 8 when a bug crippled the services of Fastly, a content delivery network, and apparently the whole ordeal lasted just 49 minutes; but that was long enough to make the netizens of the internet go into a blind panic when the websites most important to them, including Amazon, eBay, Spotify and Reddit, suddenly no longer worked.
The flaw was due to a software development made on May 12 which introduced a bug that went undiscovered until this one unlucky customer changed their settings and all hell broke loose.
In a statement, Nick Rockwell (head of engineering and infrastructure at Fastly) said: “Even though there were specific conditions that triggered this outage, we should have anticipated it. We provide mission-critical services, and we treat any action that can cause service issues with the utmost sensitivity and priority. We apologize to our customers and those who rely on them for the outage and sincerely thank the community for its support”.