Why Google passed out on December 14th
Last Monday, December 14th, brought about a new surprise from the year 2020 – a global outage of Google and related services for an overall time of about 50 minutes. Though it hasn’t lasted as long as the Amazon Web Services outage in November, which was unavailable for over five hours, it has still led to hundreds of millions of people worldwide experiencing problems with login to their Youtube, Gmail or Google Cloud accounts. Another related service Google Workplace alone has over two billion users worldwide, so one can imagine the scale of the issue.
What has led to an outage remains unknown and Google is yet to announce the result of their internal investigation. Many sources, however, already name the preliminary cause of the outage – an issue in Google’s automated storage quota management system which has led to a reduction in the authentication system capacity.
The users affected by the disruption in services had also been unable to contact Google customer service. Google has commented that this problem appeared due to a similar issue that affected internal tools and added delays to the external communication.
There is a lesson to this story. The disruption of Google services made many people realize how dependent we all are on email, search engines, documents and maps. Some people even experienced electricity outages due to problems with Google Home. And thinking of how much information is stored on various Google Services, if a more lengthy disruption or a massive leakage of information were to occur, that could lead to serious consequences not only to Google but all of its users worldwide.