Discord, a social platform used for combined voice chat, had some issues during most of the day on the 7th of December. Discord is used extensively by gamers but is also utilized by collaborative teams looking for a dependable voice chat service. Sadly, the dependability wasn’t present on the 7th, and, based on reports from Discord itself, the problems were due to issues with data stored on Google’s system.
Noticeable Latency Reported
Users across the world took to Twitter to complain about the issues with discord, using the hashtag #discorddown as a rallying point. The number of users that utilize Discord as a service is massive, with reports of over one hundred million messages coming from Fortnite users daily. The downtime might have driven some users away, as the complaints on Twitter threatened to desert the social platform for older technology. Still, it’s unlikely any of those users followed through on their threats. At the time of publication, Discord’s servers were back up and fully functional. While many users had a hard time connecting to the service, the problems were due to the Google Computer Platform and not with Discord’s API.
What Happened to Discord?
Initially, the engineering team that was monitoring Discord’s quality of service noticed some bizarre latency issues. Engineers at Discord mentioned these as ‘anomalously high iowait’ values. On further investigation, Discord’s engineers realized that there was a problem with their data stores. The assumption was confirmed later on in the day, as Google admitted they were having severe issues with their persistent solid-state disks and area-specific solid-state persistent disks. Discord kept users updated throughout the intermittent service and outages n Twitter until service was restored.
Should This be Concerning?
While many non-gamers don’t utilize services like Discord, it is a significant outage to note. Google’s systems are a core component of not just Discord’s service provision, but several other small and medium providers. Situations like this raise questions about Google’s ability to provide storage and computing services reliably to enterprise-level software. The outage that Discord faced was minor, and the company restored functionality relatively quickly. Still, the fact that it happened without proper fallback procedures in place is a concerning fact for Google’s engineers to take note of.