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Inside Google Cloud

A note to our customers: How we’re supporting you through COVID-19

March 27, 2020
John Jester

Vice President, Customer Experience at Google Cloud

As COVID-19 makes its way across the globe, we know you are under extraordinary pressure to keep your organizations up and running. You rely on Google Cloud to stay connected and get work done every day. Whether it's helping you run a high-demand e-commerce site, augment your call center staff with Contact Center AI, power timely research, or enable employees to work from home efficiently and securely, we’re committed to keeping our services accessible to customers around the world. Today, we want to provide you with some details on our preparedness.

Below are two videos that discuss our business continuity plans from a technical and customer support perspective, from myself and our vice president of 24x7 reliability, Ben Treynor Sloss. 

Keeping our systems up and running for customers

Now more than ever, keeping our systems up and running is our No. 1 priority.

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For more than a decade, Google has conducted regular disaster recovery testing (DiRT) to rigorously evaluate the resilience of our infrastructure and processes, led by our highly trained site reliability engineers (SREs). Through this testing, our teams are trained to find and address potential issues before they arise and, in the event of a disruption, recover as quickly as possible.

In terms of team structure, our SREs have historically operated from two or more locations to deliver 24x7 coverage. They’re in constant communication with our leadership team and actively monitoring global and local conditions. 

As for technical readiness, Google Cloud relies on massive amounts of compute and storage hardware to power your cloud workloads and G Suite. Since much of that hardware is proprietary, we can forecast capacity forward many months to build ahead of demand. We’re monitoring capacity closely and do not foresee shortfalls at this time. 

In addition, we maintain considerable reserve capacity both inside our network and at hundreds of points of presence and thousands of edge locations. The performance of our infrastructure remains as high as it was before the pandemic—the result of years of preparation.

Making sure our people are here when you need them

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To keep lines of communication open between our teams and yours, we’ve provisioned our support agents with remote access so they can support you securely while working from home. And in the event of disruption to any of our support centers, we've identified primary, secondary, and tertiary backups for each site. Our SRE and product teams are closely integrated into our plans, ensuring the right experts are available to address complex issues. 

Industries like retail, media and healthcare are experiencing surges in e-commerce traffic, prolonged demand for streaming services, and new requirements to support telemedicine. For our customers on the front lines with specialized needs, we’ve activated our enhanced support structure—developed for peak demand situations like we see on some of the heaviest traffic days of the year.  

And finally, we’re enabling your teams to collaborate remotely. We’re offering the premium version of Hangouts Meet for free to existing customers, allowing you to host 250 participants per call, live stream meetings for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and record meetings and save them to Google Drive. 

Staying connected

We have a number of levers we can pull to prevent service disruptions and ensure your critical workloads have access to sufficient capacity to remain available and performant. We’re committed to maintaining the health of the systems that power your business, and will continue to keep you informed in the days and months ahead.

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