mbone writes "Earlier today there was a confirmed Google outage which got a lot of attention from network operators. From a post to NANOG after everything calmed down: 'Google ack'd a maintenance on their core network did not go as planned-Forced traffic to one peer link that was unable to handle all the traffic. Maintenance has been rolled back. Issue has been restored.' This is exactly what makes me nervous about cloud computing and data storage. It's bad enough when I screw up a config and it takes down my mail, but what about when it happens to the entire globe at once?"
Several readers also point to CNET's coverage of the outage
Update: 05/14 19:25 GMT
adds this: "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes that what may be happening is a massive DDoS attack. Based on the size of the attack that would be needed to interfere with Google, I believe that it's quite likely to be the result of an attack from the controllers of the Windows worm, Conficker. Another theory that has been put about — that the problem was due to AT&T NOC routing problems — does not appear to hold water, writes Steven."
Update: 05/14 21:01 GMT
: Google's put up a low-detail explanation on their blog
that says "An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam. As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions."