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Summary:

Major Internet sites like Facebook, Twitter, Apple.com, Best Buy and Buy.com saw an outage this afternoon, as Akamai faced DNS-related issues. For about an hour Monday, those issues slowed down some Akamai sites, while keeping users from accessing others altogether.

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Updated. Major Internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Apple.com, Best Buy.com and Buy.com saw an outage this afternoon, as content delivery network Akamai faced DNS-related issues. For about an hour Monday, those issues slowed down some Akamai sites, while keeping users from accessing others altogether.

The issues, which sidelined customer sites from about 11:45 am PDT/2:45 pm EDT to 1:00 pm PDT/4:00 pm EDT, were widely reported on Twitter. Akamai confirmed that it was an issue related to DNS servers not being able to be resolved that was causing customer outages.

While Akamai is widely known as the 800-pound gorilla in the content delivery space, the outage shows the trouble that comes with a single-CDN strategy. That’s something that companies like 3Crowd and Conviva try to warn against. Those companies make it easier to either manage multiple CDNs or to allow publishers to roll their own.

Here’s a few graphs showing how the issues affected some of Akamai’s biggest clients, thanks to web monitoring firm Catchpoint:

Update: A spokesperson from Akamai writes: “Our data shows that it was approximately 0.3 percent of normal daily Akamai traffic that was not served as a result of this incident. Our customer’s sites we’re impacted for less than 30 minutes.” [Ed. note: email reprinted verbatim]

  1. Data charting Akamai availability:
    http://www.cedexis.com/akamai-outage/

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  2. Arijit (Rij) Ghosh Monday, August 8, 2011

    This, unfortunately, is the reality of the Internet. Ryan, I agree with you completely that using a single provider strategy might be risky in certain situations. As the Product Manager at CDNetworks, I always advise my customers on considering a multi-vendor strategy depending on the criticality of their Web presence. You can read more on my recent blog posting: http://www.cdnetworks.com/blog/internet-outages-they-cant-be-avoided-but-you-can-cope/

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  3. Michael Colburn Monday, August 8, 2011

    Does Amazon use Akamai DNS? A website I use is down tonight, claiming it’s Amazon’s problem. Coincidence??

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  4. Taisuke Karimoto Cezekko Monday, August 8, 2011

    I need to know why I am losing internet connectivity like around nighttime, late. I keep losing internet on both IPv4 and IPv6! It both said “No Internet Access” Then later IPv6 said “No Network Access” That’s the problem i am having on my personal laptop computer. I really am furious that I lost internet connection around 12:15, 12:30, 12:50, 1:30, 2:15, 2:30, and 3:30 A.M. i suddenly lost internet right there. And I heard the internet crew shuts down the internet system every nighttime and fixing it. I want to know why they need to fix it, how long will the repairs last, and when will the internet be running up again all day and all night long?! Thank you for understanding. I live in Austin, Texas and i lost internet at my house, but the wi-fi was working just fine for my cell-phone. These pictures are proof about what I am talking about. The internet loss I am facing, i wished it will get fixed right now and stay like that!

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  5. If something has to go wrong it will. You can minimize impact but not 100%

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  6. We have to face the fact that internet is not trust worthy. Sometimes even 5 minutes of downtime means submitting a project on time or getting 0 on the project.

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  7. CloudFlare has the right approach – http://www.cloudflare.com

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