IT Compliance and Controls

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Globalized Risks to Operations, case in point: Google’s YouTube and Pakistan

February 26th, 2008 · No Comments

On Sunday a foreign government enforced its sovereign right to censor its citizens, and consequently caused a global outage (2 hours) to the most popular video side in the planet, run by the most sophisticated global internet company – Google.  The lessons here resonate with the need for organizations to consider all aspects of risk to their globalized operations.  Especially strong consideration must be taken on basic assumptions taken on the stability of the current medium of choice.  The takeaway is consider operations resiliency and the infrastructures you depend on to deliver services – the cables that transfer the data, the routers that support your packets, and all the countries and systems in between.

Many great articles have been published on this topic and can be found here:

For fun, after investigating the outage on Sunday and seeing subsequent news articles I thought some back of the napkin calculations would be interesting and wanted to share them.

Google’s YouTube had approximately 257,000 visitors in the month of January which comes to about 345 customers an hour.  (According to, and highlighted at this article).

Given that Google serves ads on every page while a video is played, a better statistic related to revenue generated by ads is the total number of videos streamed.  For December, 3.314 Billion videos… Broken down by the hour (not perfect this is a napkin) ~ 4.454 Million videos shown an hour.  (Comscore report  )

So the impact of the outage was a hit to approximately 690 customers (not very many at all) and the lost steaming of 8.908 million videos.  Given the finickiness of the internet consumer the outage will probably impact Google’s viewership for the month, but generally return to a normal rate.    Now as to the actual revenue impact – even at the most optimistic predictions the ad revenues make up only a half of one percent of the Google revenues.  Two nice (a bit dated though) writeups on the revenue are here and here.  So, no this should have zero affect on Google’s earnings or future.


James DeLuccia

Update: Book Release is now March 19th 2008!! Pre-Order Today

Tags: Incident Response Capability · Monitoring and Performance Reviews · Operations Resiliency · Risk Awareness · Sustain Operations · Trusted Communications and Network

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