Friday, October 26, 2012

[Gd] About today's App Engine outage

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Google App Engine Blog: About today's App Engine outage

This morning we failed to live up to our promise, and Google App Engine applications experienced increased latencies and time-out errors.

We know you rely on App Engine to create applications that are easy to develop and manage without having to worry about downtime. App Engine is not supposed to go down, and our engineers work diligently to ensure that it doesn’t. However, from approximately 7:30 to 11:30 AM US/Pacific, about 50% of requests to App Engine applications failed.

Here’s what happened, from what we know today:


  • 4:00 am - Load begins increasing on traffic routers in one of the App Engine datacenters.

  • 6:10 am - The load on traffic routers in the affected datacenter passes our paging threshold.

  • 6:30 am - We begin a global restart of the traffic routers to address the load in the affected datacenter.

  • 7:30 am - The global restart plus additional load unexpectedly reduces the count of healthy traffic routers below the minimum required for reliable operation. This causes overload in the remaining traffic routers, spreading to all App Engine datacenters. Applications begin consistently experiencing elevated error rates and latencies.

  • 8:28 am - is updated with notification that we are aware of the incident and working to repair it.

  • 11:10 am - We determine that App Engine’s traffic routers are trapped in a cascading failure, and that we have no option other than to perform a full restart with gradual traffic ramp-up to return to service.

  • 11:45 am - Traffic ramp-up completes, and App Engine returns to normal operation.

In response to this incident, we have increased our traffic routing capacity and adjusted our configuration to reduce the possibility of another cascading failure. Multiple projects have been in progress to allow us to further scale our traffic routers, reducing the likelihood of cascading failures in the future.  

During this incident, no application data was lost and application behavior was restored without any manual intervention by developers. There is no need to make any code or configuration changes to your applications.

We will proactively issue credits to all paid applications for ten percent of their usage for the month of October to cover any SLA violations. This will appear on applications’ November bills. There is no need to take any action to receive this credit.

We apologize for this outage, and in particular for its duration and severity. Since launching the High Replication Datastore in January 2011, App Engine has not experienced a widespread system outage.  We know that hundreds of thousands of developers rely on App Engine to provide a stable, scalable infrastructure for their applications, and we will continue to improve our systems and processes to live up to this expectation.

- Posted by Peter S. Magnusson, Engineering Director, Google App Engine

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