Google services go down as Reliability team takes questions on Reddit

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Published on: January 26, 2014
  • Inside Google Data Center 3.jpg

    Thousands of feet of pipe line Google’s data centers, like this one in Douglas County, Geo. Google paints them bright colors not only because it’s fun, but also to designate which one is which. The bright pink pipe in this photo transfers water from the row of chillers (the green units on the left) to a outside cooling tower, for example. (GOOGLE)

  • Inside Google Data Center.jpg

    Oct. 16, 2012: Google offers a peek inside its Council Bluffs, Iowa, data center. Here, the company’s campus network room, routers and switches that allowits data centers to talk to each other. The fiber optic networks connecting sites run at speeds that are more than 200,000 times faster than a typical home Internet connection, Google said. (GOOGLE)

  • Inside Google Data Center 6.jpg

    Patrick Davillier does a visual inspection of the water pipes running below the floor of a Google data center in Douglas County, Ga. (GOOGLE)

Ask me anything — just not about the current outage.

Many of Google’s services hiccupped briefly on Friday, as an unexplained outage knocked offline such popular services as Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs, Drive and more. As of 3:23 p.m. EST, the service was back up and running smoothly, according to the company’s app status dashboard.

“The problem with Gmail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” the company wrote. A Google spokesman declined to explain further, referring to the App Status dashboard for details.

At the same time that techs were likely scrambling in server rooms to fix the temporary trouble, a group of Google gurus known as the Site Reliability Engineering Team took to Reddit, ostensibly to answer questions about how they handle outages.

The questions the team received from angry users unable to access their email accounts were pointed.

“Is this the beginning of the apocalypse?,” wrote one user.

“As you may be aware, Gmail is down. In your experience would it be safe to say it’s time to crack each others heads open and feast on the goo inside?” another person joked. The unfortunate timing of the reliability technician’s appearance was not lost on users either.

“The irony is delicious,” one wrote.

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