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What is Fastly and why did it just take a bunch of major websites offline?

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > What is Fastly and why did it just take a bunch of major websites offline?

The logo of US cloud computing services provider Fastly is seen on a smartphone screen.Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

A slew of major websites including Amazon, Reddit and news publishers like The New York Times were affected by a massive internet outage Tuesday.

The outages started at around 6 a.m. ET, with users reporting they were receiving error messages including “Error 503 Service Unavailable” and “connection failure” when attempting to visit various websites.

The sites — which also included the U.K. government website —  are now mostly back online.

Early reports have pointed the blame at Fastly, an American cloud computing services firm. Fastly’s status page said Tuesday morning that it was investigating a technical issue. It now says the issue has been resolved.

Shares of Fastly were down in U.S. premarket trading, but rose as much as 6% as markets opened for trading Tuesday.

What is Fastly?

Fastly operates what’s known as a content delivery network, or CDN.

CDNs are networks of servers and data centers distributed around the world that allow for the transfer of assets needed for loading internet content.

The company describes its technology as an “edge cloud” platform, which essentially means it places its infrastructure closer to the location