Google's Service Outage on 14 May 2009 for about an hour was due to an ongoing transition from an older networking standard to a newer one called IPv6.
According to C|Net:
Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research for McAfee, said that Google this morning attempted to make changes to key Internet routing numbers--known as autonomous system numbers--as part of its ongoing transition from an older networking standard to a newer one called IPv6. An unknown "bug" inside Google's network involving some sort of hardware failure or glitch prevented Internet service providers from finding Google's new ASNs on the Internet--effectively sealing it off from many customers, he said.
Not all Internet users were affected, but some that use larger providers--such as AT&T or Verizon--appeared to be disproportionately hurt because large ISPs "peer" with Google, or interconnect their networks with Google's networks in order to improve speed and reduce bandwith costs, Alperovitch said.
Google had tried to explain in its Official Blog it as an error in one of its systems caused to direct all the traffic through Asia and that created traffic Jam.
An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam. As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions. 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. 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. All planes are back on schedule now.
The switching from IPv4 to IPv6 has to be made eventually, but until now the necessity has been ameliorated by the use of network address translation (NAT) via routers along with internal IP addresses. For example, if you have a cable modem and home and use a router to network other PCs and share broadband, only the cable modem will have a public IP address while the router and PCs will have those dedicated to LANs.
According to the critics, Google's services outage today was apparently Google mucking with something on the backend, in a sort of "don't touch if it ain't broke" mistake. Admittedly, we're being snarky, as Google was working on something that definitely needs addressing, but it still made a major impact on systems around the world.
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