A brief outage to a Google Cloud tool on 8 April caused failures at Gmail, Snapchat and the smart home company Nest, among other services.

Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) API experienced issues for a little under 90 minutes, which led to a knock-on impact on App Engine, Cloud Functions, Cloud Run, Dataproc, Cloud Logging, Firebase Console, Cloud Build, Cloud Pub/Sub, BigQuery, Compute Engine, Cloud Tasks, Cloud Memorystore, Firebase Test Lab, Firebase Hosting, Cloud Networking, Cloud Data Fusion, Cloud Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Composer, Cloud SQL, and Firebase Realtime Database.

IAM down

– Google

The incident began at 07:35 US Pacific and ended at 08:57. During that time, Cloud users struggled to deploy cloud functions or fetch metadata tags.

Among other issues, the outage led to Gmail emails failing to be delivered, over an hour's Snapchat outage, and some Nest cameras temporarily failing to record footage.

"We will publish an analysis of this incident once we have completed our internal investigation," Google said in a status page update. "We thank you for your patience while we've worked on resolving the issue."

It is not clear if the outage was related to the unprecedented demand faced by networks and cloud service providers as people work and relax online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The issue came a little over a week after Google Cloud experienced increased error rates for more than seven hours - problems that themselves came less than a week after a different Google outage.

For over an hour, G-Suite services experienced significant issues in the East Coast on March 27, including Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Calendar.

“Some of our users experienced a service disruption today, as a result of a significant router failure in one of our data centers in the South Eastern US, causing network congestion," Google said at the time.

"As a result, Google services running in that data center were directly impacted and were unavailable until our engineers rerouted the traffic and moved those services to alternate facilities."

Urs Hölzle, SVP of technical infrastructure at Google, explained on Twitter that the outage had nothing to do with Covid-19, and that the "failure was a software bug in a third-party router, and affected multiple routers which all crashed at around the same time," in the company's Atlanta data center.