At around 1130 GMT yesterday, users around the world started experiencing difficulties using Google services such as YouTube and Gmail. Despite this, Google’s status dashboard continued to indicate that everything was working fine for some time. Meanwhile, Google’s search engine appears to have continued to work normally.
The problem was quickly traced to an outage of Google’s authentication system, and services were restored within an hour; but it is still a useful reminder that even the biggest and best know cloud services do suffer from occasional disruptions. As we blogged back in October, following an outage on Twitter, a study of cloud-based services in 2016 found that they experienced an average of almost 3 outages per year. Only 7 of the 32 services included in the study achieved 99.9% uptime, and 2 didn’t even achieve 99% uptime.
Awareness of the reliability of the cloud is of increasing importance as organisations move towards cloud-based hosting of their corporate systems. Is 99% uptime adequate for your most critical systems?