A single user can make the difference – even when it comes to the stability of running systems. This was shown by the recent failure of numerous large websites that relied on the infrastructure operator Fastly.
When its content delivery network (CDN) recently collapsed, many offers on the web were suddenly no longer accessible. This included Twitch, Reddit, Spotify, Amazon, PayPal, and many others. According to a report by the British BBC, Fastly has now said a little more about the exact causes of the problem, which were attributed early on to a software bug.
In fact, according to the analyzes, a bug lay dormant in the depths of the complex software systems that are used in the company’s data centers. In the end, one user is enough to bring the literal house of cards to collapse. A customer changed something in his attitude and thus triggered a chain reaction, the end of which is now well known.
Little Bug Big Problem
“This failure was widespread and severe, and we really feel sorry for the consequences for our customers and anyone who has relied on them,” said Fastly’s chief development officer, Nick Rockwell. The bug in question got into the systems with an update in mid-May. When the minor change made it took effect, 85 percent of the systems of the CDN, which is distributed around the world, only returned error messages.
Fortunately, the technicians were able to identify the source of the problem in a relatively short period of time and fix the failure. After all, 95 percent of the entire network would have worked normally again within 49 minutes. A bug fix has meanwhile also been distributed in all data centers. Fastly also promised to get to the bottom of the reason why the software error was not recognized beforehand during the quality inspection and test processes.
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