A slew of websites and apps around the world went down this morning after Fastly, a major content delivery network, reported a widespread failure.
So what exactly happened? Fastly said it had identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across its servers. The company has disabled that configuration.
Essentially, Fastly took down its own network with a bad software update — a rare but not unheard of goof that has temporarily brought down parts of even larger online platforms, including Google (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN), in the past.
"The problem with the internet is it's always there until it isn't," said David Vaskevitch, CEO of photo app Mylio and former Microsoft chief technical officer. "For a system with so many interconnected parts, it's not always reliable. Any one fragile part can bring it down."