Google needs some network help

Look's like yesterday's Google outage, which left 14% of Google users with slow or interrupted service for about two hours, could have been prevented with some good old-fashioned network expertise. Interesting. Perhaps networking is where Google should be earmarking its most recent hiring dollars, instead of the current focus on software engineers and lawn trimmers.

Officially, Google blamed yesterday's glitch--which affected users of Gmail, search, Google News, Google Maps and Google Reader among others--on a system error that misdirected some Web traffic through Asia, creating a bottleneck.

But Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee VP of threat research told Tom Krazit at CNET that the glitch resulted from Google's attempts to upgrade its ASNs as part of its move to IPV6. Hmmm. Perhaps Google's move to IPV6 isn't that easy after all?

Google denied that its transition to IPV6 was the culprit, but declined to provide more specifics. McAfee said it received its info from a private mailing list for network professionals--of which Google is a member--but couldn't provide CNET with any more information.

But really, no matter how you slice it, or Google explains it, improper network routing of some kind brought a large swath of Google nation to its knees for a good couple of hours. (For a good visual of the result, check out Arbor Networks' graph showing average traffic on Tier 1/2 ISPs during those two hours--it really does look like a fail whale, as Alpha Doggs' Bob Brown so aptly noticed.)

But don't worry Google. Good network help shouldn't be too hard to find these days, especially since it's the experienced network and IT execs who are finding it the most difficult to get placed in this economy. Maybe you should try giving some of them a call? They may just help you avoid another "embarrassing" glitch like this in the future.

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