Google owns up to service outage

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Google owns up to service outage

Google is blaming an error in its traffic routing system for causing a service outage that lasted several hours overnight.

The company said that at 3:48pm GMT (1:48am this morning in Australia) an error in its servers caused several Google services to begin routing all traffic through its servers in Asia.

The resulting crush of traffic caused a slowdown in such services as Gmail, YouTube and Google search. Some users were completely unable to access the sites.

After services were restored, Google senior vice president of operations Urs Hoelzle issued a posting to explain the reasons behind the outage, which the company estimates to have affected 14 per cent of its users.

Hoelzle likened the event to an air-traffic error which would route all flights to a single airport. Because of the error, many users were left waiting in a 'holding pattern' to access the sites.

"We've been working hard to make our services ultrafast and 'always on,' so it's especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens," Hoelzle wrote.

"We're very sorry that it happened, and you can be sure that we'll be working even harder to make sure that a similar problem won't happen again."

The is not the first time Google has experienced a major outage. Last fall, a Gmail outage left many users unable to access their accounts and caused some within the industry to question the viability of the service as a reliable communication tool for enterprises.

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