The most shocking websites that experienced website downtime in 2021

website downtime

2021 saw some of the biggest websites on the internet experience outages that rippled across the globe. If you thought that “large” companies couldn’t experience website downtime, unfortunately, you were wrong. Website downtime can happen to any website, small, medium, or large, and it can happen when you least expect it. Thinking that the proof is in the pudding? Check out the most shocking websites that went down in 2021: 

Facebook outage

One of the most-used websites in the world experienced downtime on October 4th 2021. And it wasn’t just for a few minutes, or even an hour, Facebook was down for a full 7 hours, making it one of its longest outages to date. 

The worst part? It wasn’t only Facebook that was impacted; globally-used communication network WhatsApp, and social media giant Instagram, were both affected causing widespread dismay from users.

What caused the outage?

Facebook released a statement shortly after explaining: 

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

Fastly outage

Fastly, which is a service provider for many of the most well-known and popularly used online retailers and other online businesses, came out and said an issue had been identified on their server and they were actively working at getting a fix in place. 

When Fastly went down on June 8th, it caused widespread disruption across the likes of Amazon, and Reddit and was deemed “the day the internet went down”. These websites use Fastly for their content delivery, which proves that downtime can affect your website even through any third parties that you might be using for the performance of your website. 

AWS outage

Amazon Web Services, known as AWS, is one of the leading cloud infrastructure providers in the world. So much so that when it suffered an outage on the 7th December, over 30% of cloud services were impacted. But that wasn’t the end of it for AWS, they had a terrible December in 2021, suffering outages on December 7th, 15th, and 22nd. 

The impact? Some of the most well-known brands in the world suffered, causing thousands of customers to take to social media to voice their concerns.

AWS quickly released a statement: “Operators continued working on a set of remediation actions to reduce congestion on the internal network including identifying the top sources of traffic to isolate to dedicated network devices, disabling some heavy network traffic services, and bringing additional networking capacity online.”

Google outage

An unlikely website giant, Google, experienced partial downtime when their Google Docs functionality suffered issues on April 12th. This meant that users couldn’t access their docs, or open new docs, and instead, just received an error message for a prolonged amount of time. Google didn’t release an official statement regarding what was causing the issue but said simply they are “experiencing disruption”. 

This wasn’t the first time that Google had suffered an outage in 2021. Back in February, the Google home services also caused disruption when they failed to work and instead kept asking its customers to “set up device”. 

The moral of Google’s suffering? It can happen to any website.

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