back to article Finally, made it to the weekend, time to breathe, relax, and... Cloudflare's taken down a chunk of the web

Global internet glue Cloudflare experienced a brief network outage on Friday that broke multiple apps and websites, including your humble Register. On its status page, as of Jul 17, 21:37 UTC, the DNS-and-everything-else provider said it was "investigating issues with Cloudflare Resolver and our edge network in certain …

  1. joesomeone
    Thumb Up

    Glad that they don't use their own infrastructure for their status domain...

    They got that part correct... *cough* AWS.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. joesomeone

      Re: DNS is supposed to be decentralised

      Well.. DNS is decentralized. You may recall that before DNS, name resolution depended on a flat-file and you had to retrieve that flat file in order to get any updates/changes.

      You're also conflating two (or three) sides of DNS. The client's side and the authoritative (the client's resolver is somewhere in-between) side.

      Your client can have as many resolvers listed and they'll resolve whatever it is that they can communicate with (within reason... there's a whole host of other rules that the OS relies on before dismissing the primary DNS server and moving to the secondary/tertiary server). On the other end, well... that's only as good as the DNS servers chosen by that domain's operator.

      You mention AWS... it is interesting that AWS takes a very peculiar approach to this issue. In order to prevent downtime either from overload and/or some weird outage of say the .com or .net or .org TLD DNS servers, they actually use four different TLDs... .com, .net, .org and for their nameservers.

      The issue isn't that DNS isn't decentralized.. It is that CloudFlare is becoming "too big to fail".

      My question is why weren't they following the golden rule, "read-only Friday". Routine is routine, until something shits the bed.

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: DNS is supposed to be decentralised

        Readonly Friday? They were fixing a problematic link. Should they have left that link in a problematic state until Monday 'just in case' they broke something else?

        1. Ozan

          Re: DNS is supposed to be decentralised

          "The issue was caused by a mistaken configuration we were applying to a router during a routine update," said Prince.

          1. MatthewSt

            Re: DNS is supposed to be decentralised

            "The outage occurred because, while working on an unrelated issue with a segment of the backbone from Newark to Chicago, our network engineering team updated the configuration on a router in Atlanta to alleviate congestion" - says The word "routine" doesn't appear in the whole post

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: DNS is supposed to be decentralised

        "Read-Only Friday" -- ooo I like that as a default policy. Nails down explicitly a whole lot of gut feel and historical arguments.

  3. revenant

    Well that explains it

    Some sites were OK and some, including ElReg, were not - Wireshark showed either nothing or an odd UDP packet in response to DNS queries.

    So: it was Cloudflare. Luckily I went to bed instead of sending a snotty email to TalkTalk.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Well that explains it

      I saw it happen (working from home), I went and got into the pool with a beer and when I got out everything was up and running again. Problem Solved!

      The internet is designed to be 100% reliable but I am never surprised when things like this happen because "designing" it to be reliable doesn't mean that everyone sets their access up to be 100% reliable. But generally any issue like this is fixed quickly.

  4. IGotOut Silver badge

    Ah Digital Ocean went down...

    Ironic, I use cloudflare to block their ASN

  5. AndrueC Silver badge

    Ah! So that explains it. I was surfing before bedtime and found there were a number of sites I couldn't get to any longer. I called my ISP (who answered because even after 10pm IDNet are awesome) but they were unaware of any problem with their servers.

    's a little bit disturbing that a router in Atlanta can prevent me (a Briton) accessing The Register and Thinkbroadband. Not in a political sense but why are so many of my DNS queries to/from UK sites going via the Atlantic?

    1. MatthewSt

      They're not usually: The problem was that the configuration change they (accidentally) made meant that all of a sudden they were.

  6. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    My cloudflare sites had weird problems for months. Cloudflare couldn't even pin the issues down, let alone resolve them - had to switch them out or switch them off

  7. iron Silver badge

    Downdetector was down? lol

  8. Joseba4242


    Mozilla should take note. If their vision* had become reality, a single configuration error on a single router would have affected all Firefox users.

    * Use DoH for all users, with Cloudflare being the default

  9. choleric

    "critical online services"

    Nice to know how El Reg self-identifies! And I concur.

  10. IGnatius T Foobar !

    So that's why DNS failed.

    I noticed around the end of the day (eastern USA) that I wasn't able to get to a bunch of Internet sites. I just assumed that systemd-resolved had b0rked itself and I'd fix it later, but when I came back to the computer in the evening, everything was fine. I use the DNS resolver, which is operated of course by CloudFlare. I guess I'll just have to set up my own DNS resolver that talks directly to the root servers.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: So that's why DNS failed.

      I guess I'll just have to set up my own DNS resolver that talks directly to the root servers.

      It is easy enough to set up an Unbound on a Raspberry Pi. As a small improvement, may I suggest you also install a Pi-Hole on that Raspberry Pi?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022