Alphabet Inc's Google services appeared to be back up after facing a brief global outage early Tuesday morning. According to Downdetector.com, an online platform that provides real time information on website outages, there were more than 40,000 incidents of people reporting issues with the world’s largest search engine, with 30,000 user reports had indicated issues with Google in the United States alone and nearly 5,900 users reported problems in Japan.
Tech outages (often called downtime) are becoming common in the IT industry, and refer to time durations when a system is unavailable owing to technical or mechanical issues and this can have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Network intelligence company ThousandEyes that first reported the outage staring that Google outages were affecting at least 1,338 servers globally across more than 40 countries including the United States, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Israel, parts of South America, Europe and Asia including China and Japan.
According to several users, the search giant’s sister platforms Gmail, Google maps and Google images were also experiencing problems. Those attempting to use the search engine were met with a 502 (Bad Gateway server error) or 500 error (when web server experiences some unexpected problems).
Google had later apologised stating that a “software update issue that caused a major international outage”. A spokesperson for the company said that the team had “worked quickly” to address the fault and services were back running as normal.
In June, an outage caused by US-based content delivery network and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation company Cloudflare, brought down hundreds of high-profile online platforms and services, such as online trading platform, Zerodha, global cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, gaming platform Steam, video conferencing service Skype and edtech platform Udemy, among others.
In less than a month, microblogging platform Twitter suffered a brief outage across several countries including India as several users could not log into the app, access their feed or publish tweets. Many users received alerts such as “503 Service Unavailable” when they tried to access Twitter. This alert usually shows when servers are temporarily unable to handle requests.
More recently, on July 21, Microsoft’s Teams app faced major outage with more than 4,000 users said that they were unable to access or leverage any features on the app.
According to analyst firm Gartner, the average cost of network downtime is around $5,600 per minute. That is around $300,000 per hour.