Facebook Outage: What Went Wrong?

Facebook Outage: What Went Wrong?

On October 4, 2021, Facebook and its other platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, went down globally for close to six hours. As services are restored, questions about what caused the Facebook outage and why it took so long to resolve are raised.

For hours, billions of users could not access Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp as the social media giant worked to restore services.

Why did Facebook go down?

People began to notice they couldn’t access Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger shortly before 5 p.m. UTC. It would take more than five hours for services to be restored.

Facebook issued a statement about the Facebook outage that the cause of the outage was a configuration change to the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between the company’s data centers, which had a cascading effect, bringing all Facebook services to a halt. It meant not only was Facebook gone, but everything Facebook runs disappeared too.

It involves two things that sort out how the internet works – that is Domain Name System (DNS) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).
The internet has a lot of connected networks. So that means to keep the order of things, you need something like BGP to tell you where you need to go. DNS is essentially the address system for the location of each website – its IP address – while BGP is the roadmap that finds the most efficient way to get to that IP address.

According to Cloudflare, Facebook made some changes to its BGP configuration on Monday via a series of updates which resulted in the disappearance of routing paths to Facebook servers and causing global facebook outage. But not just for Facebook; it applies to everything Facebook runs. As a result, people attempting to access Facebook were unable to do so.

Why were Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp down?

Not only Facebook but all of its services were affected. It included Facebook’s internal systems, with reports of employees being locked out of offices and unable to access their own internal communications platform.

Can this sort of outage be avoided in the future?

People use Facebook to connect with friends and family and log into other services such as online sales websites. Through services such as WhatsApp, it has become the dominant mode of communication in some countries. The fact that an outage can have such a significant impact on billions of people for several hours must give some pause for thought.

Moving on, UnitedLayer’s disaster recovery solution enables enterprises to be resilient and respond to these critical situations faster and allows them to operate their business without any interruptions. Boasting zero downtime for the last ten years, we also guarantee the availability of 99.999% with high-availability N+2 Clusters.

Our Disaster Recovery Solutions are highly customizable, where customers can build specific Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) according to their business requirements. With on-demand scalability, you can add additional resources to meet the increased replication needs, this helps in reducing cost and improving business flexibility. UnitedLayer’s DR solutions are highly secure and compliant with all the industry-leading compliance standards like HIPAA and PCI.

UnitedLayer also offers setup and management of highly available routers, including setting up WAN configuration, traffic engineering, BGP, security, DDoS mitigation, monitoring, alerting, and WAN optimization for guaranteed performance.

With 20 years of experience in configuring and managing highly available networks globally has resulted in zero network downtime in the last one decade.

About UnitedLayer

UnitedLayer provides the Colocation services from one of the largest data centers in San Francisco, USA, at 200 Paul Ave. Our long list of managed services enables enterprises to modernize their infrastructure and improve their responsiveness, resource utilization, scalability, and agility resulting in better customer experience and faster time to market.

To get a better insight into what else UnitedLayer has got in store, sign up for a free demo today.

Ransomware As A Service (RaaS) Explained

Ransomware As A Service (RaaS) Explained

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware, which dates back to 1989, is a form of malware that infects and takes control of a computer user’s machine, or secure documents stored on it, to extort money. 

Ransomware is a malware format that encrypts the files of a victim. The attacker then demands that the victim be liable for payment to restore data access. Instructions for paying the money to acquire the decryption key are shown to users. Ransomware as a service (RaaS) is a ransomware infrastructure rented out on the dark web to hackers. This is a simple platform to access ransomware attacks and install them on the victim’s machine to acquire the extortion amount.

How do RaaS attacks work?

The majority of ransomware victims fall victim to Social Engineering Attacks. The term ‘social engineering’ refers to a wide variety of malicious activities carried out through human interactions. It uses psychological manipulation to lead users to make security errors or to provide sensitive information. Many individuals and organizations fall prey to these types of attacks.

The real-world consequences of a successful cyberattack were highlighted this month when ransomware shut down one of the United State’s biggest pipelines.

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Colonial Pipeline said that after being the victim of a cyberattack, the company was forced to shut down operations and freeze IT systems proactively. The FBI blamed the attack on DarkSide, a cybercriminal gang believed to be based in Eastern Europe, and Colonial reportedly paid a $5 million ransom to the group.

The increased number of cyberattacks and data breaches have roesulted in substantial monetary and non-monetary losses to businesses across industries which is why UnitedLayer offers automated, robust cybersecurity, compliance, and risk management programs based on the most comprehensive set of frameworks, benchmarks, and guidelines available, boosting confidence in the company’s security compliance posture.

What steps should businesses take for ransomware protection?

  • Educate your employees: Employees can serve as the first line of defense against online threats, actively helping prevent malware infiltration into the organization’s system. Employee education about warning signals, safe practices, and responses, along with a robust security program, can go a long way toward preventing these attacks.
  • Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information: Backups are essential for minimizing the effects of malware threats. To access the data in the event of a ransomware attack, store it on a separate device or offline.
  • Perform a Risk Assessment: A Risk Assessment is a premium and practical way to help protect your organization. Risk assessments help you identify and resolve vulnerabilities in your IT security and privacy. Following a plan based on a risk assessment will significantly reduce your risks, saving you time and money in the long run.

How UnitedLayer can help

UnitedLayer offers a variety of security solutions that not only resolve the security concerns outlined in this blog but can also be customized to suit your organization’s specific security needs. Let’s take a look at UnitedLayer’s portfolio of products and see how they address the security concerns, as well as how they can work together to protect your business better.

    • Compliance Automation: We provide regular assessments of security vulnerabilities with prescriptive remediations across your entire hybrid infrastructure (cloud, on-premises, and containers). Regular reports/documentation to support compliance with internal security policies to expedite the auditing process. We have the richest library of security frameworks (NIST, DISA, etc.), benchmarks (CIS OS, cloud, and Docker), and compliances (SOC, ISO, GDPR, PCI, HIPAA) with advanced compliance mapping. Co-author of both Docker and Kubernetes Security Benchmarks from the beginning.
    • Network Security: Our cutting-edge security solutions protect client infrastructure from any external security threats. We provide IPsec VPN, SSL VPN, IDS/IPS services for secured access to cloud infrastructure. In addition to this, we also offer DoS/DDoS protection against all types of network attacks and threats. We have multiple firewalls in place for each customer deployment to increase network security redundancy.
    • Application Security: Our application security services ensure the safety and security of your sensitive business information from any security threats. With application penetration tests or ethical hacking, we help organizations identify the security vulnerabilities present in the application. Our secure code analysis enables organizations to verify that proper security controls are present in the application.
    • Virtual Security: We provide security partners like Gateway Firewall, Web Firewall, Application Firewall, DDOS mitigation, VLAN Segmentation, Security Incident Monitoring, Private Cloud implementation with ACL, and lockdown of the ports and IP address along with the encryption of data at rest and in transit.
    • Data Security: We use several methods to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the data we receive from our customers. Our production data is regularly encrypted and backed up. AES-256 is used to encrypt data at rest, while TLS 1.2 is used to encrypt data in transit.

At UnitedLayer, we have a growing list of managed services, which helps corporations restructure their infrastructure and enhance their responsiveness, optimization, resource efficiency, and flexibility, leading to better and enhanced customer experience and quicker time to market.

Visit our website and register for a free demo today to get a glimpse into what else we have to offer.

CIO Insider Cover Story: UnitedLayer’s CEO, Abhijit Phanse explains and shares his insights on “Leveraging the Capabilities of Software-Defined Data Centers and Private Clouds.”

CIO Insider Cover Story: UnitedLayer’s CEO, Abhijit Phanse explains and shares his insights on “Leveraging the Capabilities of Software-Defined Data Centers and Private Clouds.”

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CIO Insider Cover Story: UnitedLayer’s CEO, Abhijit Phanse explains and shares his insights on “Leveraging the Capabilities of Software-Defined Data Centers and Private Clouds.”

This is CIO Insider’s exclusive cover story with Abhijit Phanse, CEO of UnitedLayer. He talks about new trends like the demand of Software-Defined Everything in the cloud, the company’s philosophy, growth of the company, its thriving cloud business, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Over the past two decades, UnitedLayer has been providing comprehensive data center infrastructure and managed cloud solutions to various industries like Technology, Media, Telecom, Oil & Gas, and Banking Financial Services and Insurance across the globe.

The journey started with Accelon Capital, a mid-market private equity investment fund created by Abhijit and three professors from Stanford. Later they acquired UnitedLayer, the largest colocation data center provider in San Francisco using this fund with an aim to create high-performance, highly-available (99.999%), secure, agile, scalable, and modern colocation and multicloud solutions of the future.

The conversation starts with company’s philosophy which is deep-rooted in the need for having a three cloud strategy i.e. “The laws of the land, physics, and economics dictate that hybrid cloud will continue to the future of enterprise computing,” as stated by Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware which considers that Software-Defined Everything is the future.

Abhijit further explains UnitedLayer’s role in the Software-Defined private cloud evolution by talking about their Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center Platform that converts any legacy data center into a modern (hybrid and multicloud) data center.

During the course of the journey, several innovative solutions like UnityOneCloud were created to manage, monitor, audit, and support end-to-end cloud deployments. UnityOneCloud is a SaaS platform that provides a single pane of glass for seamless management of any cloud environment from bare-metal to serverless configurations in data centers, private clouds, and public clouds.

UnitedLayer utilized its 15 years of experience in the industry and created another organic spin-off known as United Private Cloud using it’s G3 IaaS Private Cloud platform, which is a third-generation private cloud solution perfected to deliver enterprise-grade cloud solutions and support modern applications like VMware, Kubernetes, SAP, and Oracle.

Before UnitedLayer, Abhijit Phanse co-founded the company called Scintera (acquired by NYSE: INPHI and NASDAQ: MXIM) that delivered high-performance signal processors in the wireless base station and data center infrastructure space. “Recognizing the industry’s path, creating a vision for our company, and building a team to deliver solutions to solve the real-world hybrid cloud challenges for our customers has been my contribution,” says the CEO, Abhijit Phanse.

About UnitedLayer:

UnitedLayer is a major Colocation, Private Cloud, and Managed Services provider that operates data centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. UnitedLayer puts you on the fast track to growth and helps you realize the full value of your investment in any cloud infrastructure solution. We design, build, and manage Enterprise-Grade Colocation, Private Cloud, and Public Cloud solutions that meet the performance, security, and scalability requirements to serve enterprises’ unique business needs.

About United Private Cloud:

United Private Cloud is an enterprise-grade Software-Defined Private Cloud company delivering enterprise-grade private clouds across 12 data centers over 5 continents. United Private Cloud’s G3 IaaS delivers high-performance, 99.999% availability, locked-down security, and software-defined agility and scalability while delivering greater than 30% cost savings compared to any primary public cloud provider. We are one of the world’s experts at building and operating highly available, secure, and scalable private clouds.

About UnityOneCloud:

UnityOneCloud is a Software-as-a-Service company that provides the most comprehensive enterprise-grade Multicloud Management platform for managing your real hybrid cloud environments. We help manage, monitor, audit, support, and observe all your hybrid cloud assets right from bare-metal to serverless configurations in data centers, private clouds, and public clouds.

For more information on how UnitedLayer can assist your digital transformation, please view the full copy of the discussion here and visit our website, https://www.unitedlayer.com/cio-insider-cover-page/.

UNITEDLAYER LAUNCHES UNITEDCLOUD – A SECURE MANAGED PUBLIC CLOUD WITH ON-DEMAND PROVISIONING

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UNITEDLAYER LAUNCHES UNITEDCLOUD – A SECURE MANAGED PUBLIC CLOUD WITH ON-DEMAND PROVISIONING

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—August 26, 2013—UnitedLayer, a leading Managed Cloud provider, today unveiled UnitedCloud, its VMware-based secure public cloud for enterprises and SMBs. UnitedCloud enables customers to burst into the cloud on-demand with secure, high performance, Flash-accelerated, cloud servers that integrate seamlessly with existing VMware deployments in an enterprise-connected hybrid configuration using UnitedConnect®.

UnitedCloud comes with a full-service on-line Virtual Data Center Configurator to enable customers to configure their compute, storage, and application requirements with an on-line ordering process for instant turn-up. Customers can burst into UnitedCloud on-demand with no contracts, setup fees, or monthly commitments. UnitedCloud is hosted in UnitedLayer’s Tier3 datacenters and is fully managed and backed by its high-touch 24/7/365 customer support.

UnitedCloud has built-in security protection with features like Denial-of-Service (DoS) monitoring and mitigation, 2-factor authentication, hardened operating systems, and much more. This service offers UnitedLayer customers the peace of mind that experienced security experts and best-of-breed technologies are protecting their deployments at all times.

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UnitedCloud has built-in security protection with features like Denial-of-Service (DoS) monitoring and mitigation, 2-factor authentication, hardened operating systems, and much more. This service offers UnitedLayer customers the peace of mind that experienced security experts and best-of-breed technologies are protecting their deployments at all times.

UnitedConnect®, a secure hybrid platform connector, provides a secure connection for seamless integration of the customer’s on-premise VMware deployment with UnitedCloud. This service offers customers the ability to burst on-demand into UnitedCloud and securely manage their entire VMware footprint – both the internal on-premise deployment and the external off-premise hosted UnitedCloud – within a single vCenter console.

“UnitedLayer has a long history of serving our customers with world class hosting services, and UnitedCloud continues our strategy of providing best-in-class managed cloud services in our secure enterprise-class hybrid platform. We built UnitedCloud to be high-performance, secure, hybrid-enabled, protected with enterprise-grade disaster recovery, and to be a seamless extension of our customer’s datacenters. We are making it easy for our customers to grow their full-feature enterprise-class IT infrastructure on-demand without any setup fees or contracts, all backed by UnitedLayer’s high-touch support”, said Abhijit Phanse, CEO at UnitedLayer.

To learn more about UnitedCloud, please contact: sales@unitedlayer.com.

About UnitedLayer

UnitedLayer, a leading Managed Cloud provider, offers secure enterprise-class Cloud, Colocation, and Disaster Recovery services. We have been serving enterprises and SMBs for over 12 years. Our customers include The City and County of San Francisco, Wikipedia, Diamond Foods, The Exploratorium, AT&T, Level3, and Abovenet. UnitedLayer’s secure managed cloud services are delivered from its world class, SSAE 16-certified, PCI compliant, HIPAA compliant, and fully redundant Tier 3 data centers.

Headquartered at 200 Paul in San Francisco, UnitedLayer is one of the most networked Internet points of presence in the world. We operate a dual-stacked, high-performance, nationwide IPv4/IPv6 network backbone, and all of our services are backed by high-touch, fully-managed, 24/7/365 support.

UnitedLayer currently operates five data centers in North America – in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Ashburn, and Toronto, with numerous additional networking POPs.

Company information is available at www.unitedlayer.com.

VMware and VMware vCenter are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. The use of the word “partner” or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.

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UnitedLayer Selected By Internet Archive And Burning Man To Provide IP Transit And Colocation.

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UnitedLayer Selected By Internet Archive And Burning Man To Provide IP Transit And Colocation.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 10, 2002 – UnitedLayer, LLC. (UL-LLC), a leading San Francisco Bay Area Internet Infrastructure company, announced that the Internet Archive and Burning Man have selected UnitedLayer to provide IP Transit and Colocation services for their respective organizations.

About Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in the Presidio of San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections. For more information on Internet Archive, please visit http://www.archive.org.

About Burning Man

For 17 years, the Black Rock Desert outside of Reno, Nevada, has been home to the increasingly popular and influential Burning Man event. The annual art event, which began on a beach in San Francisco in 1986, has grown to attract close to 40,000 participants annually, from every state of the Union and twenty-two countries worldwide. For more information on Burning Man, please visit http://www.burningman.com.

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About UnitedLayer

UnitedLayer, LLC. is a leading IP Services company in California. UL provides IP services to Fortune 500 companies and small to medium sized companies in the San Francisco and Los Angeles Areas. UL’s network includes 7 data centers within California and expansion plans include East Coast and international facilities. For more information about UnitedLayer’s products and services, please visit https://www.unitedlayer.com

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UnitedLayer announces 2007 corporate goals

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UnitedLayer announces 2007 corporate goals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – February 10, 2007 – UnitedLayer is pleased to announce 2007 corporate goals

After closing out a record 2006, UnitedLayer is poised to have a banner year and is ready to put forth its corporate goals.

One of UnitedLayer’s primary objectives this year is to increase our transparency so as to provide a complete window into how UnitedLayer operates – this is a huge strategic and competitive differentiator in this IP transit, colocation and managed infrastructure segment for customers have been eager to see what is behind the curtains

“Part of our strategic emphasis this year, will be to grow the both organic methods and acquisitions. ‘Layer’ on top of that the need to focus on customer support thru transparency and you’ve pretty much outlined our 2007 go to market plan”, says Richard Donaldson, VP Sales, Marketing & Development, UnitedLayer.

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UnitedLayer is building a brand that will be summarized through a to be announced pledge to our clients and community, this ‘oath’ will serve as the brand foundation and will represent UnitedLayer’s fundamental operating paradigm.

UnitedLayer’s goals will be to continue to focus on IP Transit growth, managed colocation growth and managed infrastructure growth – servers, switches and routers.

“We feel pretty strongly that our business is an execution business. If can do what we set out to do, we will be successful. If we can do what we set out to do and engender a very trustworthy brand, we will be really successful” said Arman Khalili, CEO UnitedLayer.

About UnitedLayer

UnitedLayer, Inc. is a North American internet enabler through offering a suite of internet infrastructure services including: fully managed bandwidth, managed colocation and managed hardware services in multiple datacenters strategically located throughout North America. UnitedLayer provides a single vendor, customer focused suite of established, best-practice internet infrastructure services that enables our customer-partners to realize their internet business goals all backed by a team of recognized industry experts.

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