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Monica Miller
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Monica Miller on
June 8, 2021

Keeping Your Applications Online During a Global CDN Outage

What we observed during the recent Fastly CDN outage and how it underscores the call for a resilient multi-CDN approach.

The widespread impact of today’s Fastly outage underscores the importance of building resilience within your application infrastructure. I won’t cover the details of the outage that are already being covered heavily elsewhere. Instead, I’ll focus on what organizations can do to build the resilience to keep applications online during CDN outages with a multi-CDN strategy. And to see how NS1 supports this strategy, check out our recent blog post that walks through our observations during the recent Fastly outage.

Outages and service disruptions across internet, cloud, and CDN service providers have always been inevitable, yet they have more outsized impact today than ever. Because we increasingly rely on internet-connected applications to work, stay informed, socialize, and have fun, we are hyper-aware of outages. We all feel the impact, and so do the organizations that rely on applications to run their business. Today, keeping applications and websites up and running in the face of an outage isn’t just a technical SLO; it’s a business imperative. And during the Fastly outage, companies across the world were shuttered, including large media outlets to entertainment and gaming apps to even government websites, potentially costing organizations hundreds of millions of dollars.

Keep reading to learn more about how a multi-CDN strategy can help you avoid or minimize the impact of future outages. Additionally, for a behind the scenes look at how Pulsar®, our intelligent traffic steering tool, proactively shifted traffic during the outage to minimize impact on our customers, check out our blog post: How NS1 Kept Fastly Customers Online During the Outage.

Multi-CDN strategies help organizations to mitigate the impact of outages

Outages are commonplace, yet unpredictable. In so many areas of computing, we work to avoid single points of failure through diverse and redundant architectures. From early load-balanced servers in the data center to the current thinking on multi-cloud strategies, we see this pattern. So, why do so many companies continue to rely on a single CDN provider to deliver their most business-critical application experiences?

With a multi-CDN approach, organizations can work to ensure that their application users always have the most optimal experience, regardless of where they are, what network they’re connected to, and what service issues are looming. A multi-CDN approach can also help organizations avoid lock-in and gain leverage to keep CDN costs in check.

To make a multi-CDN strategy successful, organizations must have high observability of their global application delivery performance across multiple CDN providers as well as the ability to immediately take action if a CDN doesn’t perform as expected. NS1 makes this possible.

NS1 Pulsar® Active Traffic Steering supports multi-CDN and multi-cloud strategies by leveraging real-time, global performance, availability and business metrics to automatically steer away from unwanted disruptions and latency issues. Having multiple providers in the mix allows you to dictate what may be most important: the most performant, meeting SLA targets, providing better coverage or simply steering away from provider outages.

To learn more about how NS1 enabled observability and action for multi-CDN environments during the recent Fastly outage, check out our post: How NS1 Kept Fastly Customers Online During the Outage.

Further Reading