Google online services on December 14 suffered disruption. The services, including Google's enterprise tool Workspaces, were down for customers across the world. The affected apps and services include Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Slides, Gmail and YouTube. The outage lasted around 45 minutes.
A Google spokesperson attributed the crash to “an internal storage quota issue”. Down detector, which detects outages and interruptions on networks, had also showed that services like YouTube (Google's video platform) and Gmail were facing disruption. "Today, (December 14) at 3.47AM PT Google experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes due to an internal storage quota issue. Services requiring users to log in experienced high error rates during this period. The authentication system issue was resolved at 4:32AM PT. All services are now restored," said Google spokesperson in a statement.
Google first acknowledged there was an issue in relation to Gmail, and for some time, the status page showed red for most services. “We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Gmail. We will provide an update by 12/14/20, 5:42 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.”
It is to be noted that Internet websites mainly social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram crashes every few months, but it for the first time YouTube and Google crashed, which almost never happened.
Commenting on the crash, Group Editorial Director of Hearst Autos Joe Brown tweeted: “I’m sitting here in the dark in my toddler’s room because the light is controlled by @Google Home. Rethinking... a lot right now.”
The outage has raised a huge question mark on the reliability of the systems, as the world has become depended on their services.
During lockdowns, schools have leaned on Google services to teach students forced to stay home. “At least we have an excuse for not doing our homework,” one person wrote on Twitter.
The global outage has given fodder for those who call for more control over tech giants who have grown too powerful and deserve more oversight. Google and Facebook are already at the receiving end of lawsuits in the US. In the European Union, new regulations will be introduced to limit the industry’s power.
The outage has raised a huge question mark on the reliability of the systems, as the world has become depended on their services. Some users reported their appliances not working because they were linked to Google’s line of home products.