Fastly Outage: The Need For Always-On
Chris Watkins
Head of Security

On Tuesday morning, many of the websites we rely on daily, including Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest and even the UK Government website went offline due to a major outage at a service called Fastly.

Everywhere you looked, there were 503 errors and people complaining they couldn't access key services and news outlets, demonstrating just how much of the internet relies on this cloud computing service.

Many on social media dubbed it as the day the internet broke - before swiftly being fixed again two hours later. Luckily for Ultima, none of our core services were affected but it stressed the importance of contingency planning and utilising an ‘always-on approach’.

What is Website Downtime?

When a website is inaccessible completely or is unable to perform its primary task for its users, then the site is said to be down. This period of the outage is referred to as the website downtime.

Why should you take website downtime seriously?

Website downtime is a serious threat to businesses today. Downtime is detrimental to a company as it leads to customer dissatisfaction, tarnished brand’s image, drop in search engine ranking and loss of potential business and clients because your website is the face of your brand and in most cases it is the first and the most important touchpoint in the customer journey.

So, your website being always available for customers should be your business’ topmost priority.

Future proofing your business to combat downtime

The simplest way to avoid the negative consequences of downtime is to prevent it from happening in the first place. While there’s always a chance that an extraordinary event such as today’s Fastly outage could impact your site’s availability no matter what precautions you take, these 3 tips can help you avoid the more common problems.

  1. Secure Your Website Thoroughly

One of the most intimidating causes of website downtime is a cyber-attack. Hackers who gain access to your site can wreak havoc in a variety of ways, some of which may take your site offline. Ultima can help to secure your site with our Autonomous Security services, Managed Threat Detection and Response (MDR).

MDR is an outcome-focused MDR service that supplies the people, technology and the cyber intelligence required to hunt for threats across your organisation’s networks and help shut them down before they cause damage and disruption.

“MDR is a cost-effective service that gives us peace of mind that we are doing all we can to protect our clients, our business, our staff, our counterparties and other partners".

"Managed Threat Detection with Ultima brings together the best of machine intelligence and human expertise to swiftly identify and respond to threats, 24/7” Ultima MDR Customer

Download our datasheet to learn more about our MDR services

  1. Monitor Your Website’s Uptime

The first step to preventing downtime is to know if and when it’s occurring. That’s why monitoring your site’s uptime can be incredibly useful to you as a webmaster.

While ideally your website would be up 100 percent of the time, it’s unlikely that this will be the case. Monitoring its availability can alert you when it goes offline, so you can take quick action to prevent excessive downtime.

There are several ways you can set up monitoring for your site. One is to use a performance management platform, such as LogicMonitor.

LogicMonitor is the only fully automated, cloud-based infrastructure monitoring platform for enterprise IT and managed service providers. It grants full-stack visibility for networks, cloud, servers, and more within one unified view.

As a LogicMonitor partner, Ultima are best placed to provide best in class coverage across your entire infrastructure stack, so get in touch if you would like to learn more about our partnership and how we can support you.

  1. Work with a Reliable Hosting Provider

Your hosting provider plays a crucial role in your site’s ongoing availability. If your server isn’t well maintained, you’re likely to have trouble keeping your site online. There are many factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider. When it comes to preventing website downtime, some important ones include:

  • The host’s reputation for reliability in the past
  • An uptime guarantee
  • Availability of the company’s support team, so you can reach someone for help no matter when your site is down

You may want to look into your host’s ‘uptime guarantee.’ This is usually a clause in your contract stating that you’re eligible for a full or partial refund if your website doesn’t achieve the specified minimum uptime.

How Ultima Can Support

If you are concerned about downtime and would like to understand how we can help with protecting your systems, please reach out to your Account Manager to discuss.


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