Stop Everything: The Internet is Broken
Massive outages caused by issues at Google
Huge parts of the internet went offline on the 2nd of June, caused by issues at Google.
The outages led to massive disruptions among some of the most popular tools on the web, including YouTube, Snapchat, and even Google Drive.
According to recent reports, tens of thousands of users logged into the few available apps and sites that they had left, to complain about the issues. Even a handful of Google’s own services, including the Nest smart home service, were affected by the outage.
Since Google technology powers a massive number of websites and services, including Uber, Vimeo, and Discord, there were disruptions all over the web. For many, the outage was a considerable inconvenience, affecting people specifically in the East Coast of America, but also in locations across Europe too.
Back up and running?
The sites affected by the outage made up a significant portion of the web that consumers use today. Remember, YouTube alone supplies over a billion hours of entertainment per day to viewers around the world. While the issues lasted for about an hour, Google quickly did everything they could to find the source of the problem.
According to press releases from the Google team, the problems were caused by “high levels” of congestion across the Eastern part of the USA. Within an hour of the initial outage, Google claimed that it had found the root cause of the issue. The team said that service was expected to return to normal shortly.
The official YouTube page also commented on the outages, saying that they were working to fix issues that prevented people from logging into their accounts. Snapchat also claimed to be aware of the problem. The Snapchat social media reports asked customers to “Hang tight,” while the outage was under investigation.
Why Was the Outage So Significant?
It’s hard to imagine a single company having such a significant impact on the internet as we know it. However, there are only a handful of huge brands that are responsible for much of the underlying infrastructure that keeps the web up and running. A single outage at Google can affect everything you do online, from posting pictures to chatting with your team.
This isn’t the first time that such a significant outage has shaken the internet either. In 2017, huge portions of the internet stopped working entirely after a problem with Amazon Web Services. The company’s code had become corrupted, causing sites like Quora, Trello, and countless news providers to break down. Additionally, in 2016, A cyber attack on the Dyn group also led to issues with sites like Reddit, Twitter, and Spotify.
For YouTube, yesterday’s issues follow soon after some additional problems with the service during January of this year, and October 2018. In January, YouTube was unavailable for an hour and a half before Google could fix the service.
The Google outage is now fully resolved according to official reports. Here’s hoping that similar issues don’t disrupt us again too soon in the future.