On July 17, 2020, a configuration error in Cloudflare’s backbone network created an outage for internet elements and services of Cloudflare that lasted 27 minutes. This outage created a 50% drop in the traffic over the cloud. As per the blog post of the company, due to the architecture of Cloudflare’s backbone, the outage did not impact the complete Cloudflare network but part of some specific locations were impacted.
A backbone to manage the internet requests and traffic
The locations that were affected by the outage are Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Curitiba, Dallas, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Newark, Paris, Porto Alegre, Richmond, San Jose, Seattle, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, São Paulo, and Washington DC
Cloudflare runs a backbone among several of its data centers across the globe. Through the backbone, they have better control over how and where to route Internet requests and the traffic than the public internet providers.
Additionally, the company did two major developments for this outage
- Include a maximum-prefix limit on their backbone BGP sessions. This outage would have shut down the backbone in Atlanta, however, their network is developed to work properly without a backbone. This development will be deployed on Monday, July 20.
- Modify the BGP local priority for the routes of the local server. This change will limit a single location from drawing other areas’ traffic in a alike way. This change has been deployed after the recent outage incident.
The company stated that they have never encountered an outage on their backbone and their team immediately acknowledged to recover services in the impacted locations. They further stated that they are sorry for the interruption caused to their clients and all user that were not able to access the internet during the outage.
Cloudflare gave assurance to users by stating that they have done alterations to ensure that this type of outage does not occur again.
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