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The thing that stood out for me was:

"...team...worked in shifts overnight..."

(Usual disclaimer: I speak for myself, not for my employer, etc.)

The team in charge of solving this particular problem is located in two sites in two different timezones. This is true of most critical SRE teams at Google, and it is precisely to be able to have 24h coverage in these time sensitive situations.

In the 2+ years I have spent in SRE I have never heard of a single instance of an SRE being asked or even encouraged to stay after hours (let alone overnight) for incident remediation. There is quite a lot of emphasis being put on work/life balance.

Wow, that's amazing to read, having served as a de-facto SRE (like every other SDE) at an unnamed competitor to GCE, where I was expected to stay up all night if necessary to resolve an issue (relatively few teams had follow-the-sun coverage). I swore I would never carry a pager again after that, but maybe Google really is different.

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