Monday, August 19, 2013

Brief Google down time leads to 40% internet traffic drop

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Very often do we forget the internet services that we really depend and rely on. On the August 17, 2013, Google was hit by a brief power outage which resulted in a downtime that only lasted a few minutes. The outage affected all Google services, including Google Search, YouTube, Drive and Gmail. During this short outage time, the global internet traffic plummeted and decreased by a remarkable 40%.

Although it is extremely rare for Google to have global outage for all of their services simultaneously, the scenario still shows how much the internet users today depend on Google products for their everyday internet use. Google of course also suffered from the outage, and analysts estimate that they lost approximately half a million of USD from lost revenues due to inaccessible services, and in particular, the outage of their advertisement serving platform, AdSense. 

Discussions has flared up since about the vulnerability of Google. While the internet infrastructure itself is designed to be robust, it is of course worth to pay attention to that we are so vulnerable to the existence of one single company. However, it appears that many have forgotten that there are plenty of other alternatives online, and in the event of a longer downtime for Google, users would simply start to migrate to their competitors. Of course it would mean a hassle for users who have mail and documents stored on the Google services. But this too goes without saying that backups are crucial even if cloud services are used.

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