UniSuper Google Cloud outage caused by an unfortunate series of events

Duplication across geographies no defense against the 'one-of-a-kind' accidental deletion

Google's Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian has weighed in on the UniSuper fiasco and confirmed that UniSuper's Private Cloud subscription was accidentally deleted.

In a joint statement with UniSuper CEO Peter Chun, Kurian admitted that an "inadvertent misconfiguration" during the provisioning of UniSuper's Private Cloud services resulted in the deletion of the subscription.

In a cascade of catastrophe familiar to anyone using duplication, the deletion of the account resulted in deletion across other regions.

"UniSuper had duplication in two geographies as a protection against outages and loss. However, when the deletion of UniSuper’s Private Cloud subscription occurred, it caused deletion across both of these geographies."

Fortunately, UniSuper had backups at another cloud provider. Otherwise, a bad situation could have been oh so much worse. As it is, it has only been since today that the funds' services have shown signs of life, and members have been able to log into their accounts. The organization is also further ahead in the restoration than initially planned, meaning that balances should be up to date.

The joint statement states, "This is an isolated, 'one-of-a-kind occurrence' that has never before occurred with any of Google Cloud's clients globally. This should not have happened. Google Cloud has identified the events that led to this disruption and taken measures to ensure this does not happen again."

The Register contacted Google to learn more about this "one-of-a-kind-occurrence," but we were simply directed to the joint statement.

In the meantime, UniSuper's woes remain a lesson for companies leaping cloudwards. Someone clicking the wrong button, a previously unknown bug, an unforeseen series of events, or a combination of all three could have dire consequences for a business. ®

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