Originally aired on January 14, 2022 @ 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
A fast paced look at Cloudflare Community activity, a deep dive into the hot issues from yesterday -- and related CommunityTips and tutorials. Featuring an interactive troubleshooting session led by a Community MVP.
Original Airdate: July 24, 2020
Welcome to Yesterday Today on the Cloudflare Community. I'm your host, Tim Cloonan. If you'd like to know more about the Cloudflare Community, join us every Friday for a new edition of Yesterday Today. Each week, we start by taking a look at a summary of popular topics and site traffic from last week with This Community Day and the Community Traffic Report at 10 a.m. Pacific. That's followed by a review of top community issues from last week, The Ever-Informative Using the Community Tip, occasional interviews with community MVPs, customer support engineers, or product managers. And every week, we conclude with In Class with Cloudflare, where we learn a few things about the Cloudflare Community. Turning to the traffic report, overall community traffic was up versus the prior week with new posts and new topics both flat. The number of new customers joining the community remained the same week over week, but is up for the year. For This Community Day last week, the top three searches on the community were regarding 1 .1.1.1, a range of questions about various 500 errors, 521 and 524 primarily, and finally, questions about the WAF, the Cloudflare Firewall. The most popular category for discussion on the community last week was performance, with questions about cache leading the discussion. Activity in the performance category was followed by the second most active category of security, with questions about WAF. Next was getting started with questions about name servers leading the category. And that leads us to our top story today. This morning on Yesterday Today on the Cloudflare Community, we're going on a community field trip. Maybe we've been cooped up a little bit too long on Yesterday Today talking about activity on community.Cloudflare.com, and it's time to recognize that there are a lot of community resources about Cloudflare all over the Internet. So today, we're going to go on a field trip and review some of those popular community resources. Before we dig in, we'll be referencing a number of sites, posts, tips and tutorials throughout the show. Go to the link shown on the screen now to follow along, or go later to review the assets that we're going to talk about today. Next, let me ask you to join the show today by submitting your questions to livestudio at Cloudflare.tv, or just hit the email to the show button on Cloudflare TV, and we can take your questions. Now, it's time to start our field trip. Today, we're primarily going to be talking about community resources for Cloudflare customers around the web. There's no commercial endorsement for the sites that we're going to be talking about, except for the ones from Cloudflare, which we love, of course. So now, without further ado, let's begin. Because of the way that we're starting, we're going to start close to home, and we're going to start with the Cloudflare community site with community .Cloudflare.com. This is a customer -centric property that's moderated by Cloudflare customer volunteers, and most of the questions from Cloudflare customers on the community are answered by other Cloudflare customers. It's the place where people that use Cloudflare help people that use Cloudflare. Membership is free, and the community welcomes anyone that uses Cloudflare or has questions about using Cloudflare. In addition to community -generated content, Cloudflare shares a lot of tools and documentation on the community. We're going to spend a moment to take a look at some of those. In terms of big information bang for your research effort buck, community tips and community tutorials will always pay the biggest dividends. Let's take a look at those. This is a catalog of all published community tips. Tips are an informative informational post that's on hot topics of broad interest to Cloudflare users. Community tips coalesce information from a whole bunch of different resources together into one starting spot. Specifically, you're going to find links to the Learning Center, Cloudflare Health Center, Cloudflare Developers, the community posts, Cloudflare blogs, or feedback from experts in the community. This is a centralized starting point to learn about Cloudflare, troubleshoot issues, and share information. So tips are the painkiller that you take if you have a headache while you're getting started with Cloudflare, whereas the tutorials are something different. Community tutorials are more like a vitamin to help make you stronger. They're community-generated content that helps you learn about using Cloudflare. The tutorials guide you through a series of prompts to make it easy to set up and configure Cloudflare or troubleshoot when issues come in. I would strongly encourage reviewing the tutorials as you start out. They're an incredibly helpful resource and cover everything from the basic setup through SSL as well as DMS. Next, let's take a look at another vitamin, another thing that makes you a little bit stronger, a little bit more knowledgeable about how you approach Cloudflare. That specifically is the Learning Center. The Cloudflare Learning Center contains easy-to-digest resources on cybersecurity and how the Internet works. It's a great place to get started with all of the background details that we may or may not know or may or may not remember learning. Cloudflare Learning Center is constantly developing and constantly expanding, and it's available in multiple languages. Next, let's talk about the Cloudflare blog. This is a nice transitional site to consider because it cuts between learning the fundamentals to understanding the powerful capabilities that Cloudflare delivers. The blog, updated usually on a daily basis with new posts, is the place to keep current on all of the details for everything Cloudflare. It's even easy to subscribe, and it's easier to engage the authors in conversation right on the blog. It's a fantastic resource and just an amazing tool of the wealth of information. Next, let's talk about an issue that's very close to us today. While the blog is the place to keep current on everything Cloudflare, Cloudflare TV is taking its place alongside the blog. Cloudflare TV is the place for us to experiment and connect with the Cloudflare community of more than 2.8 million Cloudflare customers, and it's becoming a valuable resource of content. We're going to talk about that a little bit later on in the show after we complete some other parts of our field trip. Now we're going to turn to something a little bit less experimental than Cloudflare TV, and we're going to talk about something a little bit more traditional, the Cloudflare Help Center. Many are familiar with the Cloudflare Help Center. Many are familiar with the Cloudflare Help Center because this is the place we go when we want to file customer support tickets. It's also the place with all of the documentation on using Cloudflare. It's a great site to keep in mind. It's another aspirant in case you encounter pain along the way. It's also the place where you're going to be able to keep track of your support tickets, so it's a really, really good site to keep in mind. Everything with the Help Center starts with a search to make it easy to research your questions. The major struggle in finding resources that help you sometimes is understanding how to ask the right question. The community has a host of tools to help, and we're going to focus first on those from Cloudflare. Specifically, we're going to talk next about the Diagnostic Center. The Diagnostic Center helps you to understand a little bit about what's going on with your site. Think of it as the EKG for your site. It's the place to go if you need a hand determining exactly what's up with the site. You can use the Diagnostic Center to check for security and redirect loops, and you get a very, very nice summary back. Let's start a popular site, for example. In running the diagnostic test, it's going to go through, perform all of the tests, and then give us a nice visual feedback in terms of the configuration that the test found. Diagnostic Center is a great first stop along the way to try to run a test to understand what's going on with your site. If you have a specific issue, however, that's with security, we also have an SSL only test. If you want to hone in on security, which was our second most popular category last week, add your URL to the Cloudflare SSL test tool, and it will analyze your site for HTTPS compatibility and any sort of common errors. Once again, I'm putting in a popular site, and we find out that there's a valid certificate, there's no mixed content errors that we had talked about before, and that HTTPS is enabled. You can go through and do a very, very quick test on the SSL, the SSL condition of your site simply by entering the URL. Sometimes the issue's not with your site, but it may be a network issue that affects a number of different sites. In this case, the Cloudflare status site is a good first location to see if the issue you're encountering is actually a network issue and not an issue with your site or your machine. Cloudflare status is updated on a regular basis. Right now we're seeing that there's a warning with some latency issues. So if you're seeing some issues that are associated with latency, checking in on Cloudflare status may save you a lot of troubleshooting steps and a lot of other research right off the bat. I actually keep the Cloudflare status site open in a tab in my browser all day, simply because it's a nice place to be able to go to reference the condition of the Cloudflare network. Sometimes, however, it's something that's happening between you and your site. In that case, it's perhaps caused by your ISP. The Cloudflare speed test is a tool that allows you to measure speed and consistency of your connection to the net. You can use it to verify that the speed that your ISP promised you is the speed you're getting. You can compare that to different ISP or you can test different network connectivity in different parts of your own home. On this, for example, I see that I'm connecting to the Cloudflare data center in San Jose from my location in Oakland. And I'm provided with a whole series of measurements that I can compare against what AT&T thinks Fiber's actually delivering to my home. This is a really, really fantastic tool. The measurements done on Cloudflare's network, it spans a couple hundred different data centers in a couple hundred different cities. It ensures your testing against the servers that are close to you, which means that you're measuring the speed of your ISP with minimal networks that are in between that are going to impact your score. So it gives you a rather nice measure to be able to compare. Sometimes, however, it is your site. And in that case, the performance page lets you check your website speed. You add the URL to the performance test tool and you can analyze the performance of your site. For example, let's take another popular site and let's run a speed test on it. As the speed test goes through and runs, this is going to actually give us information about my site in particular. There's a number of different website test tools and page performance tools to choose from. So why build one more? This gives you a bit of choice and a bit of variety. It also lets you keep it within the Cloudflare family as you're going through and testing the performance of your site or the performance of your network or the performance of the overall network. Let's depart Cloudflare for the rest of our field trip. I want to point out helpful third-party resources that make learning and recalling what you've learned fun. A colleague recently shared a site from Julia Evans. She makes those really fun zines about Linux and computing. We'll actually take a look at one of those. This one's one that we've talked about the other day, which was on ping and trace routes. So when you're worried about what path the traffic is taking to and from your site, understanding how to use a trace is very, very helpful. When you want to understand the condition of your site, understanding how to use ping is quite helpful. If you're not necessarily experienced with Linux or a Linux guru, this gives you the ability to learn about using the terminal to diagnose issues, but it does it in a really, really friendly and fun way. The zines weren't actually what I wanted to share with you today. What I'd like to do is I'd like to talk about another site that she has and explain it a little bit, and I'll paraphrase her own words. Basically, she says that all of us don't know certain things about computers and that it's a giant list and it's overwhelming. It's a big task and you don't know where you can start learning when you have a busy day that's already full. I can certainly commiserate with those comments in that situation. Carving out time to get better at a rate faster than your job gets harder is sometimes difficult to do. Having resources and tools that make it easy and fun are really, really helpful. That's why I wanted to share this other site that Julia has. These are sets of questions. On first pass, it looks fairly straightforward. Again, this is really specifically being done as Julia writes. She made the question site to help against the giant list of things to learn with no time problem. That's exactly what it does. Each set of questions takes about ten minutes and you learn without really even knowing that you're learning. You can do it over a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, you can do it over a quick break before you decide to move on to the next project. For example, we get a lot of requests and a lot of questions about status codes and the error codes that people get when they report those out on the community. Let's go to her questions about status code. Now I can start asking just one question at a time or I can reveal all of the answers and all of the questions. So by scanning a list that takes about ten minutes to digest, I actually learn a lot about HTTP status codes without really knowing that I'm learning nor without really spending a whole lot of time. Most importantly, the site helps you to ask better questions and absorb more from the resources on the other communities that we're going to be sharing today. It's also a fun resource. The questions are a great reminder of things that we've known but we've forgotten or perhaps something that we're learning for the very, very first time. While this site is fun, some of the sites are just simply down to business and down to answering questions. I think a good example of that is Reddit. The Cloudflare subreddit is fairly active. It has a reasonable number of questions about Cloudflare. I'm not sure if I'm going to recommend it as the best reference for a site for Cloudflare as you'll often find answers that are quoting the Cloudflare .com site. But if you're already reading on Reddit, check out the Cloudflare subreddit and keep up to date with the current happenings at Cloudflare. A lot of people also ask questions on Quora. The user interface in Quora sometimes makes it difficult to follow an interactive conversation to resolution and duplicate questions do happen from time to time. With the same caveat about sometimes the answers are quoting the Cloudflare website, you will nonetheless find some useful information on Quora. However, a really, really great resource if you wanted to dig into some of the technical issues associated with Cloudflare is going to be Stack Overflow. If you're familiar with Stack, you know that they say that they're an open community for anyone that codes. So if you're very, very interested in some of the power use capabilities of Cloudflare, Stack Overflow is one of the spots that you're going to want to hang out. We have a lot of the Cloudflare engineers that are on that site answering questions as well as a lot of other Cloudflare power users that are there. If you're a fan of Stack, then you probably also want to make note of Cloudflare on GitHub. GitHub is important, particularly if you're a fan of workers. Workers is Cloudflare's serverless platform. And if you're a fan of workers, then you probably know us on Stack. You probably know us on GitHub. And if you love workers, what we'd ask you to do is make certain that you follow the workers category on the community. So within the workers category, you're going to find a lot of folks that are talking specifically about workers, exchanging sample code, and helping others to debug their workers code. It is an incredibly powerful tool and resource to keep in mind. Finally, I'd like to revisit one of the community sites that we talked about earlier in the field trip. And I want to talk a little bit about a project that's going on associated with that site. Specifically, let's talk about Cloudflare TV. Cloudflare TV is less than, it's just a handful of months old. And it is actually produced hundreds if not thousands of hours of new content that's about Cloudflare. And so I wanted to share the community TV project with you that's associated with the work that's being done on Cloudflare TV. If you go to the short link that we had shared earlier in the show, you'll find more details on the community project associated with Cloudflare TV. And that'll give you some of the details. But here's the short story. In this hundreds if not thousands of hours of content, we'd like to amplify that content on the community. And we need the community's assistance to do that. Do you have an episode on Cloudflare TV that you particularly love? Was there an aha moment during an episode that we should share with other people that use Cloudflare? Did the show last week that was talking about passion help you? We'd like to know. This will help us to be able to go through and identify the valuable content that's being produced on Cloudflare TV, make sure that we're presenting that to the community. Whatever it was, let us know. Go to the short link cfl.re.ytcc7, yesterday today on the Cloudflare Community 7, and follow the link to the community TV project. There, we're going to ask you to share with us the great moments that you saw on Cloudflare TV that you'd like to make sure that we remember. If there were Cloudflare TV Emmys for the technical content on the Cloudflare TV, I'm certain that these shows would be candidates for them. For right now, they're nominees for us to be able to promote to other people in the Cloudflare community. We want to ensure that we reference these great moments in our other tips, our tutorials, and all of the other assets that we have on the site. Finally, in each of the last couple of episodes, we've shared a tip on using the community to solve problems, or in case you tuned in late and you wanted a summary of the most important takeaway from the show, we'd provide that tip as a way of summarizing the content that we've gone through earlier. So today, we're going to end our discussion with a pro tip, which is how you approach using Cloudflare on your site. Remember that while many questions have been asked, and there are a lot of resources available around the web to answer those questions, reviewing the resources first, along with the resources that are on the community, could help you to ask a better question. It could also even help you to avoid asking the question at all. And using sites like the site that we saw from Julia to give you background information, the Cloudflare Learning Center to understand the terminology and the expected behavior, stitching all of that together to what's worked with other folks in the past is quite a helpful approach as you formulate the questions that you're going to ask to the community for assistance. Finally, I'd like to thank you for joining yesterday today on the Cloudflare Community and thank you for your questions. I'm your host, Tim Clunan, and I'll see you next Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific for a new edition of Yesterday Today on the Cloudflare Community. Until then, we'll see you in the Cloudflare Community and on the other community sites. ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ Hi, we're Cloudflare. We're building one of the world's largest global cloud networks to help make the Internet faster, more secure, and more reliable. Meet our customer, BookMyShow. They've become India's largest ticketing platform thanks to its commitment to the customer experience and technological innovation. We are primarily a ticketing company. The numbers are really big. We have more than 60 million customers who are registered with us. We're on 5 billion screen views every month, 200 million tickets over the year. We think about what is the best for the customer. If we do not handle customers' experience well, then they are not going to come back again. And BookMyShow is all about providing that experience. As BookMyShow grew, so did the security threats it faced. That's when it turned to Cloudflare. From a security point of view, we use more or less all the products and features that Cloudflare has. Cloudflare today plays the first level of defense for us. One of the most interesting and aha moments was when we actually got a DDoS and we were seeing traffic burst up to 50 gigabits per second, 50 GB per second. Usually, we would go into panic mode and get downtimed. But then all we got was an alert and then we just checked it out and then we didn't have to do anything. We just sat there, looked at the traffic peak and then being controlled. It just took less than a minute for Cloudflare to kind of start blocking that traffic. Without Cloudflare, we wouldn't have been able to easily manage this because even our data center level, that's the kind of pipe, you know, is not easily available. We started for Cloudflare for security and I think that was the aha moment. We actually get more sleep now because a lot of the operational overhead is reduced. With the attack safely mitigated, BookMyShow found more ways to harness Cloudflare for better security, performance, and operational efficiency. Once we came on board on the platform, we started seeing the advantage of the other functionalities and features. It was really, really easy to implement HTTP2 when we decided to move towards that. Cloudflare Workers, which is the, you know, computing at the edge, we can move that business logic that we have written custom for our applications at the Cloudflare edge level. One of the most interesting things we liked about Cloudflare was everything can be done by the API, which makes almost zero manual work. That helps my team a lot because they don't really have to worry about what they're running because they can see, they can run the test, and then they know they're not going to break anything. Our teams have been, you know, able to manage Cloudflare on their own for more or less anything and everything. Cloudflare also empowers BookMyShow to manage its traffic across a complex, highly performant global infrastructure. We are running on not only hybrid, we are running on hybrid and multi -cloud strategy. Cloudflare is the entry point for our customers. Whether it is a cloud in the backend or it is our own data center in the backend, Cloudflare is always the first point of contact. We do load balancing as well as we have multiple data centers running. Data center selection happens on Cloudflare. It also gives us fine-grained control on how much traffic we can push to which data center depending upon what, you know, is happening in that data center and what is the capacity of the data center. We believe that, you know, our applications and our data centers should be closest to the customers. Cloudflare just provides us the right tools to do that. With Cloudflare, BookMyShow has been able to improve its security, performance, reliability, and operational efficiency. With customers like BookMyShow and over 20 million other domains that trust Cloudflare with their security and performance, we're making the Internet fast, secure, and reliable for everyone. Cloudflare, helping build a better Internet. The real privilege of working at Mozilla is that we're a mission-driven organization. What that means is that before we do things, we ask what's good for the users as opposed to what's going to make the most money. Mozilla's values are similar to Cloudflare's. They care about enabling the web for everybody in a way that is secure, in a way that is private, and in a way that is trustworthy. We've been collaborating on improving the protocols that help secure connections between browsers and websites. Mozilla and Cloudflare collaborated on a wide range of technologies. The first place we really collaborated was the new TLS 1.3 protocol, and then we followed that up with QUIC and DNS server HTTPS, and most recently, the new Firefox private network. DNS is core to the way that everything on the Internet works. It's a very old protocol, and it's also in plain text, meaning that it's not encrypted. And this is something that a lot of people don't realize. You can be using SSL and connecting securely to websites, but your DNS traffic may still be unencrypted. When Mozilla was looking for a partner for providing encrypted DNS, Cloudflare was a natural fit. The idea was that Cloudflare would run the server piece of it, and Mozilla would run the client piece of it, and the consequence would be that we'd protect DNS traffic for anybody who used Firefox. Cloudflare was a great partner with this, because they were really willing early on to implement the protocol, stand up a trusted recursive resolver, and create this experience for users. They were strong supporters of it. One of the great things about working with Cloudflare is their engineers are crazy fast. So the time between we decide to do something, and we write down the barest protocol sketch, and they have it running in their infrastructure, is a matter of days to weeks, not a matter of months to years. There's a difference between standing up a service that one person can use or ten people can use, and a service that everybody on the Internet can use. When we talk about bringing new protocols to the web, we're talking about bringing it not to millions, not to tens of millions, we're talking about hundreds of millions to billions of people. Cloudflare's been an amazing partner in the privacy front. They've been willing to be extremely transparent about the data that they are collecting and why they're using it, and they've also been willing to throw those logs away. Really, users are getting two classes of benefits out of our partnership with Cloudflare. The first is direct benefits. That is, we're offering services to the user that make them more secure, and we're offering them via Cloudflare. So that's like an immediate benefit that users are getting. The indirect benefit that users are getting is that we're developing the next generation of security and privacy technology, and Cloudflare is helping us do it. And that will ultimately benefit every user, both Firefox users and every user of the Internet. We're really excited to work with an organization like Mozilla that is aligned with the user's interests, and in taking the Internet and moving it in a direction that is more private, more secure, and is aligned with what we think the Internet should be.