What just happened? Google's cloud infrastructure powering many of its own services and other major companies' faced an outage that lasted for several hours. The issues started Sunday around 3pm ET before the company resolved the downtime for all affected users around 8pm ET, spreading across multiple regions particularly the US East Coast and Europe.

A number of web services dependent on Google's Cloud Platform were knocked out owing to "high levels of network congestion in the eastern USA" faced by its cloud infrastructure. The outage resulted in a number of problems, ranging from users' inability to control room temperatures through their Nest devices, to credit card payment processing delays with Shopify, and connectivity problems with Gmail and YouTube, the latter of which was reported to go offline across many countries worldwide.

Google Cloud also provides the backend for Discord, Snapchat and Vimeo, among other popular apps all of which were affected by network congestion issues faced by Google's Cloud Networking and Google Compute Engine.

Google Cloud outage map, source: Down Detector

At one point, the entire G Suite Dashboard lit red with almost every service facing an outage showing just how severe the issue was.

"We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence. We will provide a detailed report of this incident once we have completed our internal investigation. This detailed report will contain information regarding SLA credits." the company issued in a statement after resolving the issue.

YouTube also tweeted notifying users as it identified and fixed the issue.

Service outages like this occasionally reveal how critical the cloud has become for the modern internet and computing architecture. Entire companies often rely on a single cloud service provider for their operation because of the many benefits it provides such as business scaling, monitoring and resources management, but the service's uptime and availability, generally touted as a plus, can also suffer either due to the cloud infrastructure running into problems or lack of contingency planning on the third-party's end.

These breakdowns subsequently lead to huge inconvenience for end users and resulting downtime can cause millions of dollars of losses to businesses.