On October 4, Facebook and its associated social media platforms, WhatsApp and Instagram, suffered a global outage. It could have been avoided by using a decentralized architecture.
It was Monday evening when scores of people were not able to check updates on their Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts. The global social media behemoth’s servers were down, causing inconvenience to its over 3 billion users.
Reason for the Outage
Cloudflare, a web infrastructure and website security company, in a blog post, revealed that its DNS names (for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) “had stopped announcing the routes to their DNS prefixes,” which meant that the platforms “DNS servers were unavailable.”
“It was as if someone had ‘pulled the cables’ from their data centres all at once and disconnected them from the Internet,” the blog post said.Cloudflare Blog
Some users even reported that the ‘facebook.com’ domain was up for sale.
In an official blog post, Facebook explained the cause of the outage.
“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication. We want to make clear that there was no malicious activity behind this outage — its root cause was a faulty configuration change on our end. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”
Web3.0, also known as Semantic Web, has been touted as the solution to the flaws of Web2.0.
Polkadot founder Gavin Wood also echoes the same argument. He said, “Kudos to @facebook for giving us a very real demonstration of why the move to a decentralised Web 3 is necessary and, indeed, inevitable.”
Web2.0 is an architecture wherein a centralized node or server stores the data and controls its flow. If the central authority fails, the central node and its associated sub-nodes also fail, which is what happened on Monday.
Web3.0 provides a decentralized network with independent nodes without a central authority. Even if one node fails, the network does not go down. Other nodes keep it alive.
It also keeps the network democratic, ensuring that no one can misuse the data except in some exceptional situations. The users get control over their data and its privacy under this system.
Under a centralized system, the central authority or node has near-absolute control over user data. It can monetize the data or arbitrarily use it. Also, once data is lost in this system, it cannot be recovered.
On the other hand, in a decentralized system, if one node loses data, it does not mean others will also.
Web3.0 will usher in a revolution not just for network architecture, but also for business entities. Today, many business entities engaged in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) industry are governing themselves as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, wherein the users also take part in governance proceedings.
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