A brief outage on Google’s Cloud Platform led to failures at Gmail, Snapchat and the smart home company Nest on Wednesday afternoon.
The failure, which began at 3.35pm BST, affected a number of tools that Google uses internally and provides to other companies to host web services.
At the root was a tool called Cloud IAM, which hooks together a number of other products all used to make the internet work.
“Mitigation work is currently under way by our engineering team,” Google said. “We believe that most impact was mitigated at 0740 US/Pacific [1540 BST], allowing many services to recover. Impact is now believed to be limited more directly to use of the IAM API.”
The outages came after a period of intense growth in web traffic, which has caused problems at a number of companies, including Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Google did not answer questions about the cause of the problems but said it was still investigating.
The outage led to emails failing to be delivered at Gmail, and some security cameras hooked up to Nest temporarily failing to record footage.
It also took out Snapchat completely, for more than an hour. The service was still down as of 5pm BST. Gmail was quickly restored for some users, “and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future,” Google said. “The affected users are able to access Gmail, but may experience delays in sending or receiving messages.” Google declared the outage resolved at 4:57pm BST.
Big cloud providers such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure underpin a significant amount of the internet, which means failures there can cascade into widespread outages. In 2017, a configuration error at Amazon broke AWS so severely that the company was unable even to update the website that reported outages for two hours, and left much of the US east coast without access to services including Amazon, Netflix and Twitter for most of the day