Google Web Outages Show How Vulnerable Online Services Are

Google has clarified that the service outage that took its search engine offline for many users in United States and several other countries on Thursday was result of an error in routing internet traffic.

Incidentally not only was the search engine not available, a number of other Google services such as Gmail, YouTube along with Google News too were unavailable.

Google claims that a routing error whereby some web traffic in United States ended up being directed through Asia was responsible for the problem.

Explaining how the situation unfolded, Urs Hoelzle, VP for operations at Google mentioned “Imagine if you were trying to fly from New York to San Francisco, but your plane was routed through an airport in Asia. And a bunch of other planes were sent that way too, so your flight was backed up and your journey took much longer than expected. That's basically what happened.”

Of late there have a number of outages that have been noticed in various services that Google offers and even last week Gmail was not working for a brief period for many users in UK.

Such repeated incidents of service failure hardly helps the reputation of Google and many users are clearly stating that when so much of their lives depends on services offered by one firm, its reliability needs to be assured.

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Our Comments

The incident is symptomatic of the relationship we have with Google and others. Facebook and so many have become part and parcel of our lives, so much so that we may feel lost without them around. It is also becoming a worrying trend that Google suffers such widespread outages from time to time. The Gmail one earlier this year was pretty bad as well.

Related Links

Google Suffers Another Embarrassing Service Disruption

(Wall Street Journal)

Google blames outage on system error and online traffic jam

(Computer World)

Google Says Outage Caused By Traffic Routing Error

(PC World)

As Google Goes, So Goes My Internets

(Information Week)