Aug 18, 2020

AT&T: Top 10 cloud companies

Technology
Cloud
AT&T
Telecommunications
Kayleigh Shooter
2 min
men in data centre
We take a closer look at AT&T, the technology giant which claimed the top spot in our list of the top ten cloud companies...

Claiming the top spot in our list of the top ten companies that provide cloud services is AT&T, the American multinational telecommunications giant. 

AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications corporation and the largest fixed telephone services provider in the United States of America. The company was founded in 1885 by the famous Alexander Graham Bell, as well as Gardiner Greene Hubbard and Thomas Sanders.

Cloud is admittedly a small part of its offering, with AT&T focusing on three main areas: broadband connectivity, high-speed fibre; and wireless broadband networks.

The company has recently branched out its services and is now rolling out 5G, which launched earlier this year and already reaches around 205 million customers. The company's 5G network allows for improved speed for uploading, downloading, streaming, and sharing content. It also protects against spam and detects fraudulent activity to keep its customers safe from ever developing cyber threats. 

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the company says that it is committed to the health and safety of its workers and customers. AT&T has partnered with government agency FirstNet to allow for them to provide a 50% discount for the next six months to first responders. In addition to this partnership, FirstNet routes all first responders’ information through a dedicated network core.

In a blog post, the company said: "Supporting first responders – both on the frontlines and at home – is our mission. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, we are dedicated to those who are dedicated to protecting our families and communities. And for those that keep showing up in our greatest time of need, willing to put it all on the line to keep us safe, you have all our thanks – although “thank you” will never be enough."

In this month’s edition of Technology Magazine, we assessed and counted down the top ten cloud companies. Read the full list below to find out who else made the list.

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Jun 8, 2021

Fastly's CDN Reportedly to Blame for Global Internet Outage

Technology
Fastly
servers
websites
Tilly Kenyon & Oliver James Fr...
3 min
Multiple outages have hit social media, government, and news websites across the globe

A huge outage has brought down a number of major websites around the world. Among those affected are gov.uk, Hulu, PayPal, Vimeo, and news outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times.

It is thought a glitch at Fastly ─ a popular CDN provider ─ is causing the worldwide issue. Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website but fails to specify a reason for the fault ─ only that the problem isn’t limited to a single data centre and, instead, is a “global CDN disruption” that is potentially affecting the company’s global network.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the firm said.

What is Fastly?

Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. The company also provides security, video delivery, and so-called edge computing services. They use strategically distributed, highly performant POPs to help move data and applications closer to users and deliver up-to-date content quickly.

The firm has been proving increasingly popular among leading media websites. After going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, shares rose exponentially in price, but after today’s outages, Fastly’s value has taken a sharp 5.21% fall and are currently trading at US$48.06. 

What are CDNs?

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a web of small computers, or servers, that link together to collaborate as a single computer. CDNs improve the performance of internet-connected devices by placing these servers as close as possible to the people using those devices in different locations, creating hundreds of points of presence, otherwise known as POPs.

They help minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times. 

Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end-user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.

The Risk of CDNs

Over time, developers have attempted to protect users from the dangers of overreliance through the implementation of load balancing, DDoS (Denial of Service) protection, web application firewalls, and a myriad of other security features. 

Clearly, by the state of today’s major website outage, these measures aren’t enough. Evidently, CDNs present a risk factor that is widely underestimated ─ which needs to be rectified with haste. Content delivery networks have become a key part of the global infrastructure, and so it’s imperative that organisations start to figure out risk mitigation strategies to protect companies reliant on the interconnected service from further disruption and disarray. 

Over the coming days, both Technology Magazine and Data Centre Magazine will continue to provide updates on the current situation as developments are made.

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