15 May 2009

Google runs slow for an hour for 14% of…everyone

14 05 2009 - Internal routing glitches slowed down or even stopped Google’s searches and other applications for 14 per cent of the internet behemoth’s user base for about an hour Thursday.

“An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam,” a company executive blogged several hours after the problems began at 7:48 a.m. Pacific time.

While it may have been the largest Google failure, it certainly wasn’t the first. Because of the recent wonders of real-time searching about real-time complaining, news of the temporary end of life as we know it spread far and quickly.  For some, the incident brought home the centrality of Google in their lives more than any sabre-rattling by antitrust lawyers possibly could.

The outage was most serious for those who rely on Gmail and Google Docs for their businesses. Many others, once they realised it was Google and not the entire internet that was down, managed to remember that there is also a search engine called Yahoo.

Google felt the heat, blogging with updates as it investigated and confessing as soon as it got to the bottom of it.

“We’ve been working hard to make our services ultrafast and `always on,’ so it’s especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens,” posted Senior Vice President Urs Hoelzle. “We’re very sorry that it happened.”

Source: FT

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