Google’s Cloud outage is resolved, but it reveals the holes in cloud computing’s atmosphere

Five hours after Google publicly announced that it was working to resolve an outage in its Cloud computing network that had taken out a large chunk of Google services as well as Shopify, Snap, Discord and other popular apps, the problem seems to be resolved.

The outage hit everything from the ability to control the temperature in people’s homes and apartments through Google’s Nest to shopping on any service powered by Shopify, to Snapchat and Discord’s social networks.

“The network congestion issue in eastern USA, affecting Google Cloud, G Suite, and YouTube has been resolved for all affected users as of 4:00pm US/Pacific,” the company said in a statement.

“We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence. We will provide a detailed report of this incident once we have completed our internal investigation. This detailed report will contain information regarding SLA credits.”

Even though the networking issue has been resolved, the fact that problems with Google’s cloud services could cause outages for several of the world’s most popular applications underscores how thin cloud coverage can be for modern computing architectures.

Most companies have put their entire backend in the hands of one company and while the benefits outweigh the risks most of the time, it’s worthwhile to at least think about contingency planning.

Modern cloud architectures have slashed the cost of creating new technology businesses, but it also means that companies are typically dependent on one service for their ability to operate.

As the world becomes more networked (especially as internet-enabled devices become more prevalent in the home), it’s going to be more important for companies to have a back-up plan in place in case these services go down.

In short, it’s fine to have a dependency — like storage or computing in the cloud — just as long as companies have a way to account for their dependents.