Search giant Google has said it believes it has identified the problem and is confident it will resolve the issue swiftly. While its own services seem to have gone back to normal other platforms continue to report issues.
Apologising to users, the company said, “The network congestion issue in eastern USA, affecting Google Cloud, G Suite, and YouTube has been resolved for all affected users as of 4:00pm US/Pacific.
“We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence. We will provide a detailed report of this incident once we have completed our internal investigation.”
The problem is believed to be linked to Google Cloud, which is vital to the operation of sites such as YouTube, Snapchat, Nest and G Suite services. The outages, which began yesterday, saw many users across the UK and east coast of the US unable to access many applications hosted by Google or found their connection significantly slower than normal.
The fault, which is likely to lie at the core of Google’s network affect both user-facing services and backend cloud hosting.
Services affected included: Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Groups, and Hangouts, Hangouts Chat and Meet, Google Forms, Keep, Tasks, Voice, Sync for Mobile, and Realtime API.
On Sunday, YouTube acknowledged the problem and said it was being addressed: “If YouTube isn’t loading for you or you’re experiencing error messages, we’re working to fix it.” Similarly, Snapchat posted that it was aware of the issue and was also working to resolve it. “We’re aware of an issue preventing some Snapchatters from using the app. Hang tight!” it wrote.
This incident has served to highlight the growing dependence of the web’s underlying infrastructure on just a few companies such as Amazon and Google.
This means that one problem at either of these firms could have a major impact very quickly across the internet, taking down any website linked to these firms, although they may appear to be separate entities.
A similar scenario occurred in 2017, when large parts of the internet ceased to function because of one small typo in Amazon Web Services’ line of code. Quora, Trello and many major news sites went down as a result of this typo, which caused the underlying infrastructure to break.