Google App Engine is an operation similar to Amazon Web Services. It hosts other companies' software on Google's servers.
Hootsuite, a social-marketing company, tweeted earlier today, "Apps affected by the #GAE #outage include: Instagram, SlideShare, Sina Weibo, Orkut—we'll continue to monitor and update."
The outage didn't knocked all of these services completely off the 'net. But it did affect various parts of their apps and websites.
Google acknowledged the outage on its support site, saying.
"At approximately 7:30 am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine. The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services. We currently show that a majority of App Engine users and services are affected. Google engineering teams are investigating a number of options for restoring service as quickly as possible, and we will provide another update as information changes, or within 60 minutes."
That was about 40 minutes ago.
As we write this, the Google Apps Engine dashboard is still reporting problems.
We bring this up because Amazon's cloud has a reputation for unwanted downtime. In fact, its trouble-prone East Coast region went offline just a few days ago, too. It's way more rare to hear about Google being offline.
But Google has ramped up its efforts to compete against Amazon in cloud computing. Big outages by Google won't help it position itself as a more reliable alternative.
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