Explained: Why did Discord, Zerodha, Canva and other websites went down today?


On the noon of June 20, a number of websites and applications, including Discord, Canva, Zerodha and others, went down for a while, showing a “500 internal server error” message to users due to an issue with the content delivery network (CDN) Cloudflare. Shortly after a surge of internet users complaining about these websites not working, Cloudflare acknowledged the outage and fixed the issue shortly after the downtime was reported. Now, these websites are up and running after an hour of outage.
What is a 500 internal server error?
The “500 internal server error” is one of the most common HTTPS errors, which means something is wrong with the website’s server. There is no single cause behind this error, as the “500 internal server error” usually shows up when the server is experiencing some problem, but the root cause cannot be found.
What is a CDN?
The CDN or content delivery network is a huge network of servers spread across regions. Its job is to distribute the content from an origin server to servers throughout the world, not just to distribute but to distribute it quickly. It accomplishes this by caching the content in a server closer to the user accessing it through any internet-connected device. In a nutshell, it replicates the content from the origin server for faster delivery of content like webpages to users.
What went wrong with Cloudflare’s CDN?
Several internet users reported getting a “500 internal server error” while visiting some of the websites. As per Cloudflare’s status website, the CDN faced a “critical P0 incident” at 12:04 PM IST (6:34 AM UTC), disrupting its services across regions.
The company said the incident affected all the data plan services in its network, resulting in the “500 internal server error” across websites. Soon after, Cloudfare reported that it had implemented a fix for the “critical P0 incident” at 12:50 PM IST (7:20 AM UTC) and is currently monitoring the results.
As per the company’s statement, the network faced a “critical P0 incident,” which caused the servers to go awry. But what is this “critical P0 incident”? A P0 incident is urgent and requires top priority as it causes interruption while users are accomplishing the task.
The affected websites and applications informed the users about the downtime, and they became functional as Cloudflare fixed the issue. However, it can take time for all the websites to be online.
What to do when you face a 500 internal server error?
There is not much an end-user can do to fix this issue because the “500 internal server error” shows up because of some issue with the server. But sometimes, you can get this error because of some issue at your end, and to resolve it; you can try refreshing the page, deleting the browser cache or just come back later until the developers fix the issue.
This is the second time websites went down this month due to an issue with Cloudflare’s content delivery network. Last week, several users across India were facing issues while accessing Zerodha, Canva, Udemy and Shopify. It was reported that the issue was due to increased resource consumption due to a software release, and the company fixed it two hours after users reported the outage.


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