Cloudflare caused site to go down

We integrated Cloudflare on our website running on Apache/Codeigniter and all was working fine until recently when we experienced 1.5 hours of server downtime.

The problem got solved immediately after we disabled our Cloudflare integration which suggests that Cloudflare being enabled was the culprit.

We reached out to Cloudflare about it but they weren’t any help at all and they just blamed our server completely disregarding the fact that our website immediately started working right after we disabled their service.

In addition, our website is running on a multiple environmental structure hosted on Amazon AWS (dev, staging, and production). Proxies on both dev and staging were switched to DNS Only which prevents Cloudflare from interfering with them meaning that the only difference between our testing and live environments is that the latter uses Cloudflare.

However, for obvious reasons, our testing environments were completely unaffected when the live went down. This pretty much proves that Cloudflare really was the cause of the problem.

Wondering if anyone encountered a similar issue. Here are our basic server dependencies.

Apache 2.4
PHP 7.3 with Zen OpCache
Cloudflare CDN.
No load balancers.

Hi @Daniel2056,

524 A Timeout Occurred indicates that Cloudflare was able to connect to your server but did not receive a HTTP response in time. Did your configuration change in any way that could’ve caused this?

@albert
No there weren’t any updates made on our end between 2 months ago and the time we experienced the crash.
And we also haven’t updated the settings on our Cloudflare dashboard ever we created the account and added Cloudflare’s nameservers to our domain provider.

It’s difficult to troubleshoot exactly what caused the 524 A Timeout Occured errors. Would you be able to provide logs from your web-server (or reverse-proxy) showing Cloudflare requests around the time the issue was happening? :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’ll check our error logs to see if I find anything then share it with you. Thanks @albert

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