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The Global Social Media Outage that Caused Quite a Stir

The Global Social Media Outage that Caused Quite a Stir

By: infotechalive October 9, 2021

Users of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram faced a long pause a few days back. Many people think of Facebook as nothing but a huge wastage of good time and also a negative impact on eye health. However, there are places and people for whom Facebook and the other apps are not merely sources of entertainment but basically lifelines. Their lives had come to a standstill when the platforms got hung.

It felt as if someone had pulled out the cables from the data centres of the mediums and disconnected those from the internet. There was not a DNS issue but it had seemed so.

Facebook Clarity

There has been communication sent out by Facebook explaining what had happened internally which led to the disruption. The post mainly went on the lines of BGP and DNS problems but the actual issue had started off when there was a configuration change that happened affecting the whole backbone of the infrastructure.

What is BGP?

It stands for Border Gateway Protocol which helps in exchanging routing information between autonomous systems (AS) present on the internet. The routers which help in running the internet have routes which get updated constantly. If there is no BGP then these routers would not know how to go about their function.

Internet is a network of networks which is held together by BGP. There are ASN (Autonomous System Number) assigned to each network. Every ASN has to spell out its prefix routes to the internet by making use of BGP.

There was a time when Facebook had stopped announcing its routes to the DNS prefixes. Then there was a peak of routing changes seen from Facebook and that was when the trouble had started. When we type in the Facebook URL on any browser, the DNS resolver which is responsible for translating the domain names into proper IP addresses, checks for any existing cache to use it for reaching the server. That obviously could not happen.

This and many other successive failures led to the major outage which impacted not only Mark Zuckerberg’s business valuation but also the lives of millions others globally, even if it be for a few hours only.

To know more about the technical explanation about the same, get in touch with us and know how to prevent this for your businesses in the long run.

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