Google will offer all customers who were affected by the Google Compute Engine outage with service credits, in what would appear to be a damage control exercise as the company looks to gain ground on AWS and Microsoft Azure in the public cloud market segment.
On Monday, 11 April, Google Compute Engine instances in all regions lost external connectivity for a total of 18 minutes. The outage has been blamed on two separate bugs, which separately would not have caused any major problems, though the combined result was a service outage. Although the outage has seemingly caused embarrassment for the company, it did not impact other more visible, consumer services such as Google Maps or Gmail.
“We recognize the severity of this outage, and we apologize to all of our customers for allowing it to occur,” said Benjamin Treynor Sloss, VP of Engineering at Google, in a statement on the company’s blog. “As of this writing, the root cause of the outage is fully understood and GCE is not at risk of a recurrence. Additionally, our engineering teams will be working over the next several weeks on a broad array of prevention, detection and mitigation systems intended to add additional defence in depth to our existing production safeguards.
“We take all outages seriously, but we are particularly concerned with outages which affect multiple zones simultaneously because it is difficult for our customers to mitigate the effect of such outages. It is our hope that, by being transparent and providing considerable detail, we both help you to build more reliable services and we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to offering you a reliable Google Cloud platform.”
While the outage would not appear to have caused any major damage for the company, competitors in the space may secretly be pleased with the level of publicity the incident has received. Google has been ramping up efforts in recent months to bolster its cloud computing capabilities to tackle the public cloud market segment with hires of industry hard-hitters, for instance Diane Greene, rumoured acquisitions, as well as announcing plans to open 12 new data centres by the end of 2017.
The company currently sits in third place in the public cloud market segment, behind AWS and Microsoft Azure, though has been demonstrating healthy growth in recent months prior to the outage.