At 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, several Google and YouTube services were impacted by an approximately 20-minute outage. After the issue was resolved, Google shared a brief technical explanation of what happened.

Compared to outages that usually only impact G Suite, YouTube and the Play Store would not load, while we had issues with the Google Home app. Nest identified issues with the following aspects of its service: Setup & Pairing, Nest Apps, Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect, Nest Cam Live Video, Nest Cam Video History, and more.

On the productivity front, users were able to access Gmail, Google Calendar, Groups, Chat, and Meet, but saw “error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior.” On the mail front, messages would not send and were stuck in the outbox. Lastly, “there was no major impact” to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for third-party companies hosting services, but “minor APIs” were affected.

YouTube tweeted that the issue lasted for around 15 minutes on its end, while the G Suite Status Dashboard did not return a green light until 7:07 p.m. 

Google infrastructure chief Urs Hölzle took to Twitter to detail the issue, and apologized for these “critical” services going down:

As has been noticed, several Google services were down for some users from 6:00 to 6:23 p.m. PDT. A pool of servers that route traffic to application backends crashed, and users on that particular pool experienced the outage. GCP was not affected.

A postmortem is forthcoming to “ensure this won’t happen again.” While not all users were impacted, this was a wider Google (and YouTube) outage than normal.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: