Software Update Triggered a Glitch at Network Specialty Firm Akamai

A software update at network speciality provider Akamai caused a glitch on Thursday, knocking websites offline for a short time.

Reports of internet outages from around the world exploded on the website Downdetector, with Akamai, based in the United States, claiming that some websites were down for up to an hour.

“A flaw in the DNS (domain name system) system, which leads browsers to websites, was caused by a software configuration update,” Akamai noted in a blog post. “As a result, the availability of several client websites was impacted.”

According to Akamai, who apologised for the inconvenience, rolling back the software update fixed the problem.

The outage, which impacted banks, airlines, and other online services, occurred just weeks after Akamai was blamed for a massive online outage that impacted bank and airline websites on both sides of the Pacific.

Around 500 of Akamai’s clients were briefly taken offline due to a fault with one of its online security solutions at the time.

The occurrences highlight the importance of online platforms’ reliability, as well as the critical role that a few little-known “CDN” (content delivery network) providers play in keeping the web up and running.

After a malfunction with cloud computing services provider Fastly in June, US media and government websites, including the White House, New York Times, Reddit, and Amazon, were temporarily down.

Fastly is a service that reduces the time it takes for a webpage to load.

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