Many major websites and services were unreachable for a period Friday afternoon due to issues at Cloudflare's 184.108.40.206 DNS service. The outage seems to have started at about 2:15 Pacific time and lasted for about 25 minutes before connections began to be restored. Google DNS may also have been affected.
Discord, Feedly, Politico, Shopify and League of Legends were all affected, giving an idea of the breadth of the issue. Not only were websites down but also some status pages meant to provide warnings and track outages.
The DNS, or Domain Name System, is an integral part of the web, connecting domains (like TechCrunch.com) to their IP addresses (such as 220.127.116.11). If it goes down, it doesn't matter whether a website's servers are working or not - users can't even reach the site or service in the first place.
Cloudflare wrote in a tweet and an update to its own status page (which thankfully remained available) that it was "investigating issues with Cloudflare Resolver and our edge network in certain locations. Customers using Cloudflare services in certain regions are impacted as requests might fail and/or errors may be displayed."
We are aware that some regions may be experiencing issues with some Cloudflare services. We are currently investigating.
- Cloudflare Help (@CloudflareHelp) July 17, 2020
Some of the services and sites also relied on Google's Public DNS service (18.104.22.168), which appeared to be having simultaneous issues, but TechCrunch has not been able to directly confirm this.
This story is developing - check back for updates.