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Current Affairs

Google outage

Date: 16 December 2020 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers

Issue

Most Google services, including gmail and Youtube, across the globe suffered a mass outage lasting over an hour on Monday.

 

Background

The issue is critical as across the world, businesses and other critical services use free and paid Google products for a host of reasons. 

 

Details

  • Google has attributed the outage to an internal storage quota issue. Services requiring users to log in experienced high error rates during this period.

  • Google first acknowledged there was an issue in relation to Gmail, and for some time, the status page showed red for most services.

  • It is increasingly rare to see an outage that affects all services and users. This is because users, even from a single geography, are hosted over multiple servers across the world. And even on these servers, there are backups that activate quickly if something goes wrong.

 

Significance of such events

  • The outage gains importance given that there has been a surge in users across all online services, and certainly in those offered by Google.

  • There will be questions asked on whether the backend infrastructure of these companies are strong enough to withstand this spike in load, that too over a large period of time.

  • Companies that depend on Google for backend services will be worried about the impact of such outage, especially a longer one.