Several major digital platforms such as Amazon, Zomato, and Myntra, among others, faced temporary disruptions on July 22 connected to content distribution network Akamai.
This is the second major internet outage to hit the world since June. The last one was reported on June 8.
The outage affected airlines including Delta, and online stores such as Amazon and Myntra, food delivery apps such as Zomato, payment apps such as Paytm, and OTT platforms like Disney + Hotstar, games like Call of Duty, along with a host of banks whose pages were not loading, tracking website Down Detector reported. Other Akamai websites that were down were PlayStation Network and Steam.
According to Apple’s System Status page, iCloud Backup, iCloud Mail, iCloud Storage Upgrades, and Photos are experiencing issues related to the outage. However, there is no confirmation on whether these services were affected due to Akamai’s service disruption.
Zomato took to Twitter to inform their app is down and wrote: “Our app is down due to a widespread Akamai outage. Our teams are working to ensure all orders placed are delivered asap.”
Deepinder Goyal, founder, and CEO, Zomato, tweeted:
Akamai — the internet infrastructure company that is at being at the center of the issue – has confirmed it is experiencing a “service disruption.” It tweeted: “
Several internet users have taken to Twitter to report their issues and talk about the Akamai global outage today and the messages appearing on the page, i.e., Error 503 or “Service Unavailable – DNS failure.”
So, what is Error 503?
To understand Error 503, let’s take a look at how a website operates. On its own, a website is just a collection of codes and pages. These codes help dictate the formatting and layout and what content is displayed on the layout.
The real workhorse is the webserver. Think of it as another computer but specifically set up to handle requests to display a certain page. When you use the browser to navigate to a page, the web server handles that request pulls the information from its database, and displays the relevant web page. Error 503 is what happens when a web server can’t handle that request.
What caused the June 8 internet outage?
Why did it happen previously? As per several media reports, the cause of the outage was traced to the content delivery network (CDN) provider Fastly. According to a tweet put out by the company, the issue was caused by a faulty service configuration. Think of it as a set of rules that govern the distribution of content across websites. The problem here seemed to be caused by one of those rules breaking or a faulty rule. Fastly is a CDN that hosts servers for several popular websites, so it makes sense that an error there caused a widespread outage. This issue has since been investigated and fixed.