It feels unusual to see internet problems that aren’t related to someone trying to pre-order gaming equipment, but this evening users on the East and West coasts of the US experienced issues accessing Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, and even YouTube.
As noted on trackers like DownDetector, the issue seemed to peak at about 9PM ET. Eventually Google’s server status updated to note the issue, and said it was resolved fully by around 10 PM. In a statement to Engadget, a Google Cloud spokesperson said “We experienced a short service disruption affecting several products including G Suite, and are now recovering.”
We're very sorry for the outage, we know how critical these services are to everyone's lives. We're working on a postmortem to ensure this won't happen again.— Urs Hölzle (@uhoelzle) September 25, 2020
Urs Hölzle, the Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google offered more detail in a tweet that was even retweeted by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. According to Hölzle, “A pool of servers that route traffic to application backends crashed, and users on that particular pool experienced the outage.” If you didn’t notice any disruption, then it’s because you weren’t connected to those particular servers, even as those who were experienced problems trying to turn in online homework, access their messages or get work done.