You Moved Your Stuff to the “Cloud”, What Could Go Wrong?

ArsTechnica has the story:

“Unprecedented” Google Cloud event wipes out customer account and its backups

The $135 billion pension account UniSuper (in Australia) which has 647,000 members thought it was being brought ‘up-to-date’ by moving it’s IT systems to the Google Cloud.

Unfortunately this interesting post by CEO of UniSuper and GoogleCloud Head  explains the farcical events that caused not one but 2 instances (a copy) to be deleted by GoogleCloud.

It was fortunate for UniSuper that someone had another backup outside of Google, since the backups were wiped also on Google (the account was deleted after all). This outside of GoogleCloud backup took 7 days to recover when services were finally back in business.

Of course Google Cloud statement:

 “Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian has confirmed that the disruption arose from an unprecedented sequence of events whereby an inadvertent misconfiguration during provisioning of UniSuper’s Private Cloud services ultimately resulted in the deletion of UniSuper’s Private Cloud subscription. 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.”


It is fortunate that someone in the UniSuper  employ did not completely trust GoogleCloud back when the ‘upgrade’ was contemplated.  Although in June2023 the following was in a press release:

June 2023 press release touted UniSuper’s big cloud migration to Google, with Sam Cooper, UniSuper’s Head of Architecture, saying, “With Google Cloud VMware Engine, migrating to the cloud is streamlined and extremely easy. It’s all about efficiencies that help us deliver highly competitive fees for our members.”

Yes famous last words…


As the outage was unfolding in the early hours it was figured out that it was not the result of a cyber attack.

The ultimate learning of this episode (nightmare) is that one should not put all of their  hope and planning into one cloud provider even if they are a conglomerate like Google. In my opinion it does not matter who you are contracted with, one is always in need of a true backup. The other item in this saga is that Disaster recovery was not practiced in this large pension behemoth in Australia.

I discuss a lot of things in my book “Too Late You’re Hacked” –  The Guidebook is available at Publisher’s Concepts bookstore Ebook and paperback version.

or buy it from my store: $9.00Buy now