Fang Talks

secretprojects
28 02 17

Fragile

For something as big as the internet, it sure fails often.

Today, Amazon S3 is down. Infrastructure which supports a large amount of websites. Recently, Cloudbleed happened, sending supposed-to-be-encrypted data scattering across CloudFlare-using websites. A little while ago, Github went down, keeping programmers from reaching their code. Somewhere around that time, Stack Overflow also went down, keeping programmers from finding code to write.

We praise the internet for connecting us, but reality is a bit more roundabout. When I send you an email, it doesn’t go directly from my computer to yours. Mail goes to my ISP, who sends it to my mail server, which sends it out to your mail server (likely also reached through an ISP of sorts), from which you pull your mail via yet another ISP. For websites, sprinkle a bunch of web services in there too.

If any one of those pieces falls over, the link is broken. That’s what we get for relying on such big centralized pieces. Sure, they get to benefit from being as large as they are, and we the users get a nice share of that, but the fact remains that the infrastructure is very fragile.

And when a big player like Amazon decides to shit the bed, well, you probably experienced it yourself today.
~ Fang

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