Major websites in Australia went down in a brief internet outage

The widespread downtime recalled an hour of global outage earlier this month, which was triggered by a software failure at content delivery platform; Fastly Inc. Its failures affected services from Amazon to Shopify and Stripe Inc’s. which served as a stark reminder of how exposed the world’s biggest websites are to the impact of disruptions.

Huge number of websites are operated by financial institutions, governments and airlines including Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. and Australia’s central bank went down briefly Thursday in the second global Internet outage in as many weeks.

Some of the outages include those that affected Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group ltd. were linked to a failure at Akamai Technologies Ltd.

The RBA (reserve bank of Australia) was forced to cancel a scheduled bond buying operation Thursday due to technical difficulties.

The widespread downtime recalled an hour of global outage earlier this month, which was triggered by a software failure at content delivery platform, Fastly Inc. Its failures affected services from Amazon to Shopify and Stripe Inc’s. which served as a stark reminder of how exposed the world’s biggest websites are to the impact of disruptions.

The website tracker, Downdetector.com initially flagged a hundreds of users complaint about the outages affecting the Southwest Airlines Co, Delta Air Lines Inc., and Automatic Data Processing Inc. Many of the websites affected on Thursday recovered within an hour. It has been unclear of what triggered the incidents on Thursday but in Fastly’s case, a valid software configuration change by one of the customers triggered a previously undiscovered bug. It identified the issue and announced for a fix within 46 minutes after the acknowledgment of the problem.

Akamai is among the high level websites and application hosting services which is used by large organisations to serve content to millions of user simultaneously. Instead of hosting all website content on a single set of servers in one location, the so called edge computing models puts servers in dozens of locations, this cuts the lag time. These vast and complex setups are run by just a few companies, such as Fastly and Cloudfare Inc.

The global edge computing market was valued at $4.68 billion in 2020 and has been expected to expand at an annual compound growth rate of 38.4 per cent from the year 2021 to 2028.

The complexity means that even a simple error in configuration file could trigger chain reaction of outages.

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