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Several large websites went offline on Tuesday after an apparent widespread outage at the cloud service company Fastly.
Dozens of high-traffic websites including the New York Times, CNN, Twitch, Reddit, and the U.K. government's home page, could not be reached. Some websites became completely unavailable, whereas others were having issues loading assets like fonts or images.
The root cause, according to security expert Mikko Hypponen and others in the field: Fastly, an edge-centric cloud computing specialist founded in 2011 by former Wikia chief technical officer Artur Bergman, which is apparently having a bad start to the day.
About an hour later, the company said: "The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return."
Fastly describes itself as an “edge cloud platform." It provides vital behind-the-scenes cloud computing services to many of the web's high profile sites, by helping them to store, or “cache,” content in servers around the world so that it's closer to users.
Fastly helps improve load times for websites and provides other services to internet sites, apps, and platforms — including a large global server network designed to smooth out traffic overloads that can bring down websites, such as a denial-of-service attack. But because Fastly provides a layer of support between internet companies and customers trying to access news sites, social media, and other online platforms, when it goes down, access to those services can be blocked entirely.
However, a number of sites that were hit early appeared to be coming back online.