Today’s massive Internet outage comes courtesy of Akamai Edge DNS


Today’s massive Internet outage comes courtesy of Akamai Edge DNS
Enlarge / "Dude, it can't be DNS." "How much you wanna bet?"

A massive Internet outage today has downdetector.com covered in warnings for popular websites and services, such as the PlayStation Network, Steam, Fidelity Investments, Airbnb, FedEx, LastPass, UPS, Amazon, and others.

The root cause of the outage appears to be a failure in Akamai's Edge DNS Service. Its system status page reports that Akamai is aware of "an emerging issue with the Edge DNS service"—one downgraded to "Minor Service Outage," with no further explanation as of press time.

Not sure yet why so many sites online not loading, but confirmed it's not a @Cloudflare issue. Bad days happen to everyone so hope whoever is having one it gets resolved quickly. #hugops

— Matthew Prince 🌥 (@eastdakota) July 22, 2021

According to Akamai, a fix has been implemented, and Edge DNS is "resuming normal operations." Akamai also states that the unspecified issue "was not a result of a cyberattack on the Akamai platform," although there's no word so far on what the issue actually was or what caused it.

pic.twitter.com/c2HHBgTexW

— abacaxi (@mx_abacaxi) July 22, 2021

The volume of large-scale Internet outages seems only to be increasing, with some of the world's largest sites often the most heavily impacted. Today's outage resulted from a DNS failure rather than a content delivery network failure—but it underscores an important point.

The Internet was originally designed to be decentralized and fault-resistant—but as the world's biggest sites and services coalesce around a few massive infrastructure providers, failures at those providers have increasingly significant effects on the Internet ecosystem as a whole.