Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 10:33 UTC
Internet & Networking

Worldwide internet traffic plunged by around 40% as Google services suffered a complete black-out, according to web analytics experts.

The tech company said all of its services from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Drive went down for between one and five minutes last night.

The reason for the outage is not yet known, and Google refused to provide any further information when contacted by Sky News Online.

According to web analytics firm GoSquared, global internet traffic fell by around 40% during the black-out, reflecting Google's massive grip on the web.

Woah.

Order by: Score:
DNS?
by Morgan on Mon 19th Aug 2013 10:52 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I have no idea how Google's servers are set up, but the only thing I can think of that would cause a service-wide outage would be a major DNS issue.

Reply Score: 6

RE: DNS?
by Hayoo! on Mon 19th Aug 2013 12:07 UTC in reply to "DNS?"
Hayoo! Member since:
2013-04-13

Next question would be: how could a giant like Google experience major DNS issue? Certainly their servers and network aren't being handled by probies or summer interns, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE: DNS?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 19th Aug 2013 14:16 UTC in reply to "DNS?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I have some idea how they are set up, given past articles about how they run things. There are about a million ways that could happen. Speculating is kind of fruitless. It undoubtedly had a low probability of happening, but did.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: DNS?
by Morgan on Mon 19th Aug 2013 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE: DNS?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

There are about a million ways that could happen. Speculating is kind of fruitless.


Very true. I just mentioned the most obvious knee-jerk answer, but I'm sure I'm wrong, as others have pointed out.

I do find it funny that the article suggests that the five minute outage will cause apprehensive water cooler gossip. I suppose at companies that exclusively use Google business services, sure, but at the little company I work for it was no big deal, and we use Gmail and Drive.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: DNS?
by Soulbender on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: DNS?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I do find it funny that the article suggests that the five minute outage will cause apprehensive water cooler gossip.


I would think that is nonsense. No one notices a 5 minute outage, not even if its Google. Everyone's going to think it's something with their ISP or whatever and just do something else for a few minutes. At the end of the day the only ones who cares about such a short notice are journalists desperate for a scoop.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: DNS?
by JAlexoid on Mon 19th Aug 2013 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: DNS?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It becomes a major issue when the outage results in $500000 loss of revenue.

Reply Score: 2

RE: DNS?
by Soulbender on Mon 19th Aug 2013 15:42 UTC in reply to "DNS?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I would expect a company of Google's size to use anycast DNS in which case an outage is unlikely.

Reply Score: 3

New software from NSA?
by unoengborg on Mon 19th Aug 2013 12:13 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess they got some enhanced spy software from NSA that forced them to shut down while they upgraded

Reply Score: 16

RE: New software from NSA?
by Vic20 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 12:25 UTC in reply to "New software from NSA?"
Vic20 Member since:
2012-01-27

+1

Reply Score: 1

RE: New software from NSA?
by shmerl on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:08 UTC in reply to "New software from NSA?"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Yeah, that's the first thing that comes to mind, isn't it?-)

Reply Score: 1

Statistics
by avgalen on Mon 19th Aug 2013 12:28 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

That doesn't mean that 40% of the traphic IS from Google itself. Lots of people cannot find content that they want to visit without using Google

Reply Score: 4

RE: Statistics
by jgagnon on Mon 19th Aug 2013 13:05 UTC in reply to "Statistics"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

One reason I'm glad I was on the Internet long before Google. Being able to think outside the box usually requires one to have lived outside the box at one point or another. Don't people realize there are other search engines than Google?

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Statistics
by fretinator on Mon 19th Aug 2013 21:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Statistics"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't people realize there are other search engines than Google?


No, but I'll google it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Statistics
by sb56637 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 13:22 UTC in reply to "Statistics"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Yep. And not just content per se; people depend on Google to access entire websites too. It's amazing how many people still type "facebook" into Google and then click on the search result in order to access "facebook.com". I can imagine that during the blackout people were typing website names into Google and then just sitting, aimlessly waiting... "Now what?".

Another theory is that people assumed their entire internet connection was down. I admit that I use Google as my de facto internet connection test because their pages are fast to load and almost never down. On several occasions I have seen brief Google outages, probably because of DNS problems or routing issues at my local ISP, and I sat there for a few minutes trying to diagnose my internet connection before it occurred to me to test a non-Google website.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Statistics
by gan17 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Statistics"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Yep. And not just content per se; people depend on Google to access entire websites too. It's amazing how many people still type "facebook" into Google and then click on the search result in order to access "facebook.com".


That's a good point, and probably one of the reasons why the percentage is that large. Many browsers use Google as default search engine, so even typing a plain "facebook" into a browser address bar that has no prior history will result in a Google search for Facebook being done.

With Chrome/ium or some mobile browsers, it's probably even more extreme. Just typing "face" will result in "Facebook - Google Search" being the first selectable option.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Statistics
by jazman777 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Statistics"
jazman777 Member since:
2013-02-27

The new version of Opera assumes that is the standard mode of operation, and reinforces it. No bookmark management was included because most people supposedly didn't use them.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Statistics
by ilovebeer on Tue 20th Aug 2013 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Statistics"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Yep. And not just content per se; people depend on Google to access entire websites too. It's amazing how many people still type "facebook" into Google and then click on the search result in order to access "facebook.com". I can imagine that during the blackout people were typing website names into Google and then just sitting, aimlessly waiting... "Now what?".


What's really pathetic about that is that it's absolutely true. I know people who do exactly what you've described. Without google holding their hand for the entire duration they're using the internet, they would be totally lost & incapable to doing anything. It's really, really lame.

Reply Score: 1

How about the ads?
by BlueofRainbow on Mon 19th Aug 2013 13:13 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

With their servers down, the ads pushed/served by Google could no longer be.

Could one imply from this datum that ~40% of the web traffic is advertisement?

Reply Score: 6

RE: How about the ads?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 19th Aug 2013 14:22 UTC in reply to "How about the ads?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That's possible/probable. I had a mini Google outage a while ago where my internet connection couldn't reach google. Non google pages could load, but they would often stall when trying to load google analytic or google ads. It made it seem like everything was down.

Reply Score: 3

RE: How about the ads?
by deathshadow on Tue 20th Aug 2013 00:43 UTC in reply to "How about the ads?"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

That would be my take on it -- it's why whenever friends use my computers they go "Your connection is so fast"

I run adblocks, including blocking adsense. Being that I lived through the dotcom burst, I have about as much trust for online advertisers as I do a snake oil doctor. I'm often shocked anyone is DUMB ENOUGH to put advertisements on their sites or expect anyone to actually see them, much less NOT run adblocks on their systems.

Between unwanted behaviors, unauthorized tracking, and quite often outright malicious code, advertisers are a bunch of sleazeball scum I'm shocked anyone would give the time of day.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: How about the ads?
by MeinNick on Tue 20th Aug 2013 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE: How about the ads?"
MeinNick Member since:
2013-03-14

You want the Internet to become subscription based? Because that's the only other way websites bigger than a personnal blog, such as wired, gawker, reddit, 4chan, ars, could afford their hosting, much less their staff.

I've been through the dot-com bubble too. Sorry but my memories aren't as fond as yours. It's only after free web hosting (usually displaying ads) appeared that decent content became available.

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about the ads?
by Bobthearch on Wed 21st Aug 2013 14:22 UTC in reply to "How about the ads?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

With their servers down, the ads pushed/served by Google could no longer be.

Could one imply from this datum that ~40% of the web traffic is advertisement?


The ads are probably a large part. But I wonder how much bandwidth is used up by that Google-analytics crap that practically every website (including this one) loads?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Mon 19th Aug 2013 21:21 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Did they try unplugging it and plugging it back in?

Reply Score: 6