For a few bleak hours last evening, Google went down across Prague and much of Europe.
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For just a few hours of last evening, much of Europe had to settle arguments the old fashioned way after a Google outage. Yes, the search engine monolith that is Google went down and chaos ensued. We got an untimely reminder of a time before search engines and we all got a bit carried away.
Fortunately for concerned citizens, the website was back up within a few hours but it did raise a few eyebrows in the countries affected. Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia were all affected in the early evening. The outage seemed to be resolved, in Prague at least, by 21:30. Some services continued to be affected until later on in the evening.
Google spokesperson, Alžběta Houzarová, spoke pensively on the subject and merely confirmed the previous reports:
“I am pleased to confirm that the complications have been resolved. Complications took about 1.5 hours and the reason was technical.”
Zdeněk Cendra from CDN77.com confirmed the traffic to Czech sites was hugely reduced during the period. He said the cause was a routing error and later reported it was a bug.
“According to our estimates, about 500 to 600 Gbps of traffic to the Czech internet disappeared.”
No confirmation has been provided by Google yet of the root cause of the issue. Nobody is yet suspecting anything sinister, but that is always a possibility in cases such as these. It is almost certainly a technical fault that has been corrected, and if you’re interested in how Google maintain their pages, you can find out more here.
So what would happen if we lost Google for good? Would chaos reign? Would we be out in the streets burning cars and looting libraries for answers?
Would Ask Jeeves stage a comeback? Remember when you could ask that smartly dressed guy anything? He wouldn’t necessarily tell you the answer to what you were looking for, but he did try. In any case, Google is back up in Europe and you can go back to having access to the entirety of knowledge known to mankind; and using it to look at funny cat pictures and get into arguments with strangers.