back to article Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

You can all relax now. The near-unprecedented outage that seemingly affected all of Google's services for a brief time on Friday is over. The event began at approximately 4:37pm Pacific Time and lasted between one and five minutes, according to the Google Apps Dashboard. All of the Google Apps services reported being back …


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  1. Vociferous

    Somewhere, someone is sweating bullets.

    I sympathize. I once killed a rather large server through a moments confusion about which SSH window was which.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Somewhere, someone is sweating bullets.

      I managed to kill a fairly expensive HP rack running full tilt once by testing the redundant power supplies.

      They were arrange in a block of four, can I help it if the matched supplies were diagonally opposite?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

  3. gylgamesh

    According to most services were down for 11 minutes.

    But did Google Search or their numerous domains also go dark?

    I also find it strange that 40% of world wide internet traffic would be affected by that.

    1. GoingGoingGone

      On the 40%

      > I also find it strange that 40% of world wide internet traffic would be affected by that.

      There are plenty of people who use google as their address bar. Instead of going to they just type facebook (or more likely 'f' and it gets autocompleted to facebook) and then click on the first result in the corresponding Google search. For them Google down = Internet down.

      I am guilty of doing this with some sites myself. If you don't remember the URL the default behavior is to do a search for the site. From them on the first autocomplete result in the address bar will the the search for the site instead of the site URL so it's pretty much a self-perpetuating behavior. With search results being displayed as fast as they usually are there are no incentives to modify such behavior.

      Bookmarks/favorites? Never heard of them....

      1. gylgamesh

        Re: On the 40%

        But that is only HTTP and HTTPS traffic, which accounts for only a small fraction of the overall internet traffic.

        According to the latests surveys, in N America BitTorrent accounts for 33% of upstream traffic and is at the top and Netflix is at the top of downstream traffic with 40%.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      40% - Not really surprising ............

      Firstly it wasn't all internet traffic, it was only pageviews.

      Considering the number of websites having a dependency on some form of google service,

      e.g. google's analytics, tagservices, syndication/ads, apis, and all their other javascripts,

      And that browser rendering may stall when that component is unavailable.

      So people were sat waiting for pages to load.

  4. Lord Zedd

    I'm sorry,

    I did not done this research to harm or damage.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two minutes.....

    Sounds like one hell of a multiple site failover, assuming they've managed to completely automate it (that's the hard bit, BTW). It can be done (and maybe was done deliberately, as part of a drill). I hope this wasn't caused by a single point of failure; there simply shouldn't be one.

    1. Michael Thibault
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Two minutes.....

      If it was deliberate--and I can't see it as having been a cascading fail/failover/single-point failure--I'd expect that the purpose was the big diff that it made possible. After all, Google is all about data collection and analysis.

  6. FuzzyTheBear

    Even simpler ..

    our beloved BOFH was renegotiating his contract and making a point with upper management.

    which obviously worked fantastically well. Strange how quiclky management surrendered .. wonder if any Halon was involved in this negotiation .. G'day

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Even simpler ..

      Whatever happened to "kick the bastard out, promote his underling, and demand he either fix the problem tootsweet or join his ex-boss"?

  7. William Boyle

    Heck, that was just how long it took to enable the NSA's Global Google data tap! Try as they might, they still were unable to coordinate the swap of fiber cables from one plug to another all over the world in less time...

  8. James Hughes 1

    Is it me..

    Or is the fact that (what ever the cause for it going down, which of course, it shouldn't have)), the whole of Google infrastucture (ie something dealing with 40%) of the worlds traffic) came back after only a few minutes downtime. I would have thought that was a pretty impressive feat.

  9. Mike Flugennock

    "When Google goes dark, the Internet knows fear"?

    Bah. Speak for yourself.

  10. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Isn't this only the second time Google has gone down?

    I mean ever.

    But I can well believe the 40% of traffic - Youtube alone is probably most of that.

    On top of that, a lot of applications poke to determine if they've got Internet access or not - because they are quite simply the world-wide server farm that's least likely to have gone offline.

    Along with every other commentard, I would really, really like to know what happened - and how they fixed it so fast. Most of the other "cloudy" services don't appear to have even realised they're down in the time it took Google to bring it back up.

  11. Black Rat

    Somewhere in a darkend room..

    a hacker is feeling both elation and a strong desire to change their underwear, identity and town.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Somewhere in a darkend room..

      And state, country, continent and probably even planet...

    2. (AMPC) Anonymous and mostly paranoid coward

      Re: Or somewhere in a darkend room..

      .........a sysadmin is feeling both despair and a strong desire to change their underwear, identity, job and town.

  12. Kris

    Bing went down for 10 minutes the nigh before

    No one noticed.

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: Bing went down for 10 minutes the nigh before

      I can't be arsed to Google it... but what is "Bing"?

  13. pepper

    What else

    Its just Sky-net practising for when judgement day comes!

  14. Hero Protagonist

    I felt a great disturbance in the force... if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happ--- oh wait...never mind, it's back.

  15. IGnatius T Foobar

    Microsoft FAIL

    No matter what, I think we can all agree that this was Microsoft's fault.

    1. Darryl

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      Nope. I blame Apple

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like someone typed google into google. We were warned...

  17. Franklin

    Sorry, my bad.

    I did a Google search for "You reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back. Why aren't you helping?"

  18. ITS Retired
    Big Brother

    The NSA was adding another Splitter room to Google.

    Sorry about the down time.

  19. zb

    I had heard that Homer Simpson had a new job at Google

  20. Andrew Jones 2

    Kyle probably unplugged it for a few seconds, and then plugged it back in -

  21. ShortLegs

    You lot were online on a Friday night?

    You know, there is a place outside called "the real world", and it has beer.. and you know, /women/ i it (yeah, I know, its hard to believe), and pubs, and nightclubs.

    It went down on a Friday night - how come Britain noticed?

  22. bindlewurdle

    I was trying to use a couple sites that use Google's doubleclick ad network and the pages would not load. At all. I know Google rarely goes down but it seems incredibly stupid to me that Google's ad network holds its customers completely hostage and prevents them from loading at all if it can't be found.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      more likely bad site design, I know I would never build anything that relied on outside connections to load...

      And for that purpose part of my testing is usually kill the internet on the test server, then try the site, see how it works, ensure I have no external dependencies remaining... (sure SOME things I offload onto cloud storage, such as media etc, since their content delivery networks are better than a single server)

  23. john devoy

    Hmmm, looks like Google would really be in the shit if they started being charged for all traffic relating to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      what, twice?

      I think you'll find that they pay for enough bandwidth to get all of their traffic onto the internet.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Outlook online too?

    Any relation to microsoft live/outlook is down all morning already? I'm not a mobile user, but my provider is in Indonesia though.


    There's a problem with Outlook right now.

    There's a problem with Outlook right now.


    Problem A small percentage of mobile users may experience intermittent issues while syncing emails. August 18 1:36 AM

    Report a problem

    If you're experiencing a problem that isn't listed here, please report it. To see recently resolved problems, go to the History page.

    Was this information helpful?

    Tell us what you think

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Nah, Outlooks down most days

      Falls over more often than a drunkard in high heels on a Saturday night.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To All Who Scoffed

    They were just "re-wiring" the interwebs like what darling Davy Cameron said they were going to have to do.

  26. david 12 Bronze badge

    I had something similar about 4 hours later.

    In Melbourne, AUS. AFAIK, only a couple of seconds, but it was that outage which led me to read this article.

    The rest of the internet was working ok, but Google sites were returning google error screens.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a theory

    Perhaps the ZPM powering the Googleplex (tm) unexpectedly reached maximum entropy.


    #include "SGG_icon_here.h"

  28. proto-robbie


    ... A botnet auto-clicking on NSA job adverts.

  29. miket82


    Keyboard not found, hit F3

  30. miket82

    F3 - no keyboard found

    Sorry about that, I switched it off and then on again. Problem solved.

  31. joeyaliziojr

    Okay Who Again?

    WHO IS





  32. Lostintranslation

    Google - proudly powered by Tepco.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Told you...

    It was the 'GIVE ME A BIGGER BUDGET' switch!

  34. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Red pill/Blue pill

    Someone took the red pill.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

  36. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I know what must have happened. And it's not like we weren't warned.

    "If you type 'Google' into Google, you /can/ break the internet."

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: I know what must have happened. And it's not like we weren't warned.

      Nah, not that one, try this one instead


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