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Google Blames Gmail Troubles On Maintenance Goof

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the well-that's-reassuring dept.

Communications 109

Slatterz writes "Google has apologised for the two-and-a-half-hour Gmail outage on Tuesday morning, and admitted that the cause was down to data center maintenance. 'Lots of people around the world who rely on Gmail were disrupted during their waking and working hours, and we are very sorry. We did everything we could to restore access as soon as possible, and the issue is now resolved,' said Gmail site reliability manager Acacio Cruz in a blog post. Google had been testing new code designed to keep data geographically closer to its owner, which brought about disruption when maintenance in one data center caused another facility to be overloaded. This had a cascade effect, according to Google, and it took the company an hour to get it back under control."

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109 comments

Mail time happy time. (2, Funny)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989025)

Gmail = Goofmail

Re:Mail time happy time. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989711)

I gotta gird my loins. Anyone know a good website number for that?

Gmail (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989051)

It can pretty much kick your ass and fuck your mum.

I know the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989057)

Sometimes it feels like the whole world is pissed at the outages my maintenance and site updates cause.

At least Google has the money to afford a proper load balanced / never down system...

Re:I know the feeling... (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989189)

This was not a planned outage, as a result, no one was told in advance, that sucks.

Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (4, Interesting)

Jon_Hanson (779123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989071)

Maybe it's related to this but I noticed this past weekend that the Jabber server running on my Linux machine no longer can get presence information for people on GMail/GTalk. From the logs I can see my server attempting to make a connection but nothing happens after 20 seconds and my server gives up for the time being. I haven't changed anything on my side but I'm unsure who to contact about issues like these.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (4, Interesting)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989421)

Not sure, but it's not just you. I use a couple of different clients for work communication (the dozen people in my company telecommute) - Gtalk, Trillian, Adium, and fring on my cellphone. My boss got snarky one day recently because he said my status said available, but I was unresponsive all day. After investigating, I saw the same thing. If I set my status away on any of the non-official clients, it wouldn't propogate out. So it's a two way issue, not just one.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990185)

Personally, I like appearing available all of the time. That way, I don't have the awkward situation of becoming "Available" only to have someone immediately pounce on me who I don't want to talk to. If I am available all of the time, then you have no idea if I am really there. The way it should be.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26991265)

I'd like to do that too, but it's an account I only use for work, only work colleagues are on it, and we are expected to use it as a status monitor as much as a communication tool.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994577)

we are expected to use it as a status monitor as much as a communication tool

That's why I now despise Jabber, at least at work.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997031)

when i am using gchat in the gmail window i have this happen sometimes. i will select "invisible" immediately and it appears that i just logged off. if i am questioned about it i blame the firefox memory leak for needing to kill my browser instance.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (-1, Flamebait)

gornzilla (793897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989911)

Good luck trying to get an answer out of Google. That's their weekpoint, MS! Any kind of customer service at all would destroy google from the outside in! If it's not answered on their site, you're screwed. Even if MS had a number that just went to a recording of Bill Gates saying "Fuck off" it'd be a thousand times better than trying to get a response out of google. If linux was big enough, Torvald saying "penguin" would be as useful as Google's customer service.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (4, Insightful)

emag (4640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989919)

Been this way since at least last Thursday (Feb 18) for me. I have several contacts ($grandboss, $director (who's out sick), and $wife among others) that insist on using GMail/GTalk, all of them went "remote-server-not-found" last week, with no changes on my end. As a lark, I restarted my XMPP server, without it making a difference. If I had to guess, server federation was deactivated on the Google end, out that's just a WAG on my part.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26990061)

what a fucking nerd. you prefix grandboss, director, and wife with a dollar sign? don't you realize that takes more effort to type out, which is completely wasted anyway because less characters used to express an idea = better

see what i did there? i mixed some code in appropriately (= instead of is saves me one character)

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26990353)

Fuck you.

Re:Problems with Jabber connections to GMail users (5, Funny)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990549)

see what i did there? i mixed some code in appropriately (= instead of is saves me one character)

Which you promptly wasted by explaining what a jackass you are...

So you're saying... (4, Funny)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989125)

the cloud can breakdown? WTF? I thought cloud computing fixed any conceived computer problem out there.

damn marketing bs...

Re:So you're saying... (0, Offtopic)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994679)

Yes the cloud can break down, it's ironic isn't it? It's like rain on your working day.

Thanks a LOT Google... (5, Funny)

Tarmus (1410207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989139)

So you're saying I *didn't* need to throw my iPhone out the car window the other day? I hit some poor lady right on the noggin with it.

Re:Thanks a LOT Google... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989177)

it's ok, some poor lady got an iphone that should would have never been able to afford otherwise. cause she's poor.

Re:Thanks a LOT Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991721)

Let's flame together:

If she can't afford an iPhone, she won't be able to afford the data plan either.

"Maintenance goof?" (5, Funny)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989167)

I mean, sure, if the janitor brought down the service, that's pretty bad, but it seems a bit harsh to start calling him a "maintenance goof" ...

(tip your bartenders and waiters)

It's almost like.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989171)

.. Gmail is Beta or something.

Re:It's almost like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26990301)

5 years in beta come April 1st.

Re:It's almost like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991525)

Not sure how it would be received if I started testing on production data.

I wish I could use this excuse.

This is why we're still beta. (4, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989231)

Nobody complain about that silly beta label anymore.

Re:This is why we're still beta. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989345)

hope they make it betta soon...

Re:This is why we're still beta. (0, Offtopic)

vh22 (1485919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989867)

It's almost like.. (Score:0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, @05:54PM (#26989171)
.. Gmail is Beta or something


Too late by 3 minutes

Re:This is why we're still beta. (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994461)

I pay for my (business) GMail account, which definitely does not have that label, but still I was down. Oh well, I guess they'll still make the promised uptime.

Fast-forward 100 years... (5, Funny)

glebd (586769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989315)

"As the stunned world slowly recovers from 2.5 hours of complete hibernation, digging through wreckage, restarting life support systems we all came to depend on, re-animating accidentally dead and restoring their brains from backups (provided backups are available and reasonably error-free), Google has apologised for causing 'the disruption' and blamed it on a maintenance goof in the Google Cloud, said GCloud site reliability manager Acacio Cruz IV v10.0.013 in a BrainTwitter post. We can only envy our ancestors who used to just lose access to their electronic mail via primitive personal computers when Google was having a glitch."

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (5, Insightful)

jnuzzo (313424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989685)

It's a FREE service. I don't have a problem with an outage when the service is free. It's when I pay for a premium service, they can't keep it stable, and finally raise my rate to cover their idiocy that p*sses me off.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (4, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990437)

Google has a better uptime than any pay email service I know of anyways. I'm pegging Gmail at around 4 9s and the search engine to around 5~6. Most ISPs get 2 9s and business ISPs 3, 4 if you hit the ISP jackpot (even then i'd be shocked). So how are people so up in arms about this? Sheesh if you saved it up you'd get a day off once every 30 years. Which reminds me, nevermind ISPs. You get less uptime for ELECTRICITY in north america than you do google, going just on the continent wide outage a few years back.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991069)

When did the entire continent of North America lose power?

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (3, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992073)

It was the eastern seaboard. Most east coasters think the Pacific ocean is just past Chicago, hence why they call it the "mid-west" instead of "Almost-Central"

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995077)

To be fair as you look from west to east you see.

Busy Cali ... nothing nothing nothing hicks nothing angry hicks nothing old folks homes nothing East coast. Come on, try to say 'Utah is the new silicon valley' or 'Iowa is too much of a party state for me' ... 'Texas is full of bright forward thinkers' ... 'As a black transexual I only feel comfortable in Tennessee'

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991591)

How did you calculate 4 nine's for gMail? 4 9's is 52 minutes of downtime per year, while this outage was over 2 hours.

And this isn't their first outage. The last one I remember was April of 2008.

Is it even possible to measure 6 9's of downtime for an internet service? 6 9's is just 30 seconds of downtime per year -- less than 3 seconds per month -- 100 msec/day. Can you honestly say that you never experience 100 msec of additional latency once a day? Maybe once a month they have a hard disk timeout that makes a query take 3 seconds instead of a fraction of a second. Can you tell if this is a problem with that service, or somewhere on the general internet? Even 5 nines is less than one second per day.

And measuring availability of a search engine is tricky anyway since the search engine database is constantly changing. If you are connected to a google server in that just happens to be having an indexing problem and is 12 hours out of date, how would you even know that is the case. Your search may fail to find the recently updated website that you're looking for but you don't know it's because there's an indexing problem. So you may say that the search engine is up, but in reality it's not able to give you the result you're looking for so.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26992137)

And this isn't their first outage. The last one I remember was April of 2008.

Having seen forum threads around the internet discussing gmail downtimes in the past a general trend is, that only one or two persons see an outage, everybody else can access gmail just fine. That makes me think the majority of their downtimes only affect a tiny fraction of their users. If you count all outages even though they affected maybe just 1% of users, then you are not giving correct availability figures. If 1% of the time there is an outage for 1% of the users, the availability isn't 0.99, it is 0.9999. This latest outage was an exception, I don't think gmail ever before had an outage affecting the same number of users.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992597)

Measuring downtime as a SOLID downtime over 3 minutes long. You can't honestly say your productivity was severely impacted by a 2minute downtime. Because ou are right, you can't measure it otherwise.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992329)

We're 5 9s. If you think GMail is 4 9s I have a bridge you might also be interested in.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001227)

I agree. I have another, pay, email account with netidentity, owned by tucows.com, which has had all kinds of reliability problems for the past several years. They've had several occasions where my email was inaccessible for several DAYS. Now I just forward that mail to my Gmail account, which I've never noticed a problem with.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991255)

It's not free. You pay by bringing Google ad revenue. It is adware. If Google wants to keep the cash flowing in they have to make sure people keep using their stuff.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26992905)

It's not free as such. First, you're paying for it by looking at ads. But more importantly, the advertisers are paying Google for access to your eyeballs, which aren't being served in an outage.

Re:Fast-forward 100 years... (0)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990035)

Thank you. That just made 7 hours of trouble shooting here in Iraq so very worth it.

LIES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989323)

They were hacked.

Subtle Hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989377)

This was Google's way of telling the world that if they are going to host your company's email work load, please consider paying for it!

Makes sense to me with them rolling out their hosting plans soon.

Beta = Test Environment (3, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989435)

The first thing that came to mind when reading the article is, "They were 'testing' code in a fscking production environment?!" Then I realized that Gmail is still a beta app. I think these things are to be expected from beta software. What I'm curious about is whether or not corporate users who are paying for Gmail were effected as well. If so, then Google better get their ducks in a row, and fast. It's one thing to play around with your servers when people aren't paying you for uptime. It's another thing entirely to test code on a production network.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (5, Informative)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989545)

There are all manner of tests, and sooner or later, you do have to test in production. It's important to know that in cloud computing, there are certain kinds of tests that are only possible in production; production load is the surest way to characterize your application and platform. Who knows where in the deployment lifecycle this happened? Someone at Google, certainly, but not us.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (3, Insightful)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989669)

The fact that they have corporate accounts paying for access to the service should preclude the 'beta' label. I like a lot of what Google has done, but sometimes it seems like the whole beta thing is just a convenient excuse for failure, or as a free pass for iffy behavior like testing in production.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (4, Insightful)

lefiz (1475731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990829)

Google is an innovative company, and innovation often includes trial and error as well as improvements to an original idea. No one makes you use their products, and in this case, gmail is only one of many email providers. If you would prefer slightly more reliability from a corporation providing a product guarantee, feel free to look elsewhere. I like the way gmail works much more than any other email app I've tried, and am happy to accept the occasional issue, especially for all of the positive developments that have come from continued work on the project. Remember not so long ago when you couldn't chat in gmail?

Re:Beta = Test Environment (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26991917)

The fact that they have corporate accounts paying for access to the service should preclude the 'beta' label. I like a lot of what Google has done, but sometimes it seems like the whole beta thing is just a convenient excuse for failure, or as a free pass for iffy behavior like testing in production.

It's just a label. It doesn't mean anything other than "we're not finished with this yet". And when did they use it as an excuse?

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994807)

RTFA. It's an implicit SOP.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (2, Insightful)

Strake (982081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992163)

Be thankful that, at least, Google calls their testing versions "beta", not "Sevice Pack n" | n < 2.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993179)

lol

Re:Beta = Test Environment (3, Informative)

jadin (65295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989673)

I don't think they are testing it on their corporate users. My domain is signed up for google apps which includes email, but not the pay for premium version. When I read on slashdot that gmail was finally adding an option for 'always use https connection', I looked in the options where people said it would be, and found nothing. Logging into the "official" gmail I was able to find it right away. It took some time before it showed up in my domain's gmail client.

My conclusion is they test all the code on the official gmail users to make sure it's stable enough before updating the corporate clients etc.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26991861)

There's an option in gmail for domains you can change to use the latest version if you want the bleeding edge features. But this setting probably wouldn't help with the type of outage that happened this week.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993661)

Yes it affected corporate users. We use the commercial service and we were affected for several hours, although it was 9pm - until quite late.. so the impact was (fortunately) minimal.

-Cal

Re:Beta = Test Environment (2, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989943)

It wasn't 2.5 hours for me - it was more like 14-15 hours.

It stopped working at night time, around ~9PM (this is when Gmail Notifier failed to login, and curious, I tried to login manually). It wasn't working yet at 2AM in the morning. I went to sleep, woke up, and it was still broken. It finally came back online some time after lunch.

This would be quite irritating if I were a business. As it was, I did have some important emails to send off, but waiting a day didn't kill me.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26990071)

"Unexpected side effects of some new code" != testing. If the edge case is some other data centre failing, then reproducing that in a test environment is nontrivial.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990713)

And pray tell what kind of test environment must exist to mimic the massive production environment! At some point there aren't many options because something so distributedly large is beyond conventional mechanisms and wisdom. In Google's case they may never be able to move out of beta if it means testing code in the production environment.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990895)

The test environment doesn't have to exactly mimic the production environment. It just has to serve as a model. Lets say that in their test environment they move mailboxes around, and they find that it takes X minutes and Y amount of bandwidth to move Z amount of data. They can then take those calculations and extrapolate what will happen when the numbers change. We obviously don't have details involved, but the article mentions moving mailboxes and servers being overwhelmed by the amount of data moved.

I've seen Exchange infrastructures go down in similar scenarios. In theory, with Microsoft Exchange you can select thousands of mailboxes and move them all at once from one server to another, even if the two servers are only connected by a 128kbps link. The reality of the situation is that you want to move significantly smaller chunks of data.

I'm sure that there are a lot of smart people at Google who realized where they f'd up and have made the necessary changes to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26990805)

Yes, and badly at that!

We migrated our mail system half a year ago from a rock solid small imap hosting company (which we've been using since from our startup days) to the paid google service. The decision was made over us techies' heads, reason being that our business was now too important to let such a small company handle the responsibility of mail. This was our second big stand-still during peak office hours (Europe). Oh btw, gmail imap access have some kind of disruptions almost every night as well (usually a few biff timeouts).

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991189)

They were 'testing' code in a fscking production environment?!

That's pcauthority's reinterpretation. If you actually go to the source, it doesn't say anything about testing. Sounds like this code had been through testing already, but the tests just happened to miss a corner case that eventually showed up in production.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#26991277)

My business depended on GMail, and yes it was down, but for a hell of a lot longer than 2.5 hours. It was more like from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon.

Yes, I do pay for their services. And no, we will not be depending upon it any longer. "Testing" code on a production environment is just bone-headed, and I am quite frankly getting tired of the constant "Some features have failed to load..." (... because we're testing new code that doesn't work) messages.

There are more reliable providers out there...

Re:Beta = Test Environment (2, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995543)

You strike me as fitting the stereotype I have of the typical user at my place of work. A service can be running for months (or even years) on end without a single glitch, yet the thing goes down for a little bit and they act like the previous aeons of total reliability never happened. Ever. A good many even go so far as actually saying "insert some service or other" never fucking works, it's always broken! This lie filters up the chain and two days later you're in the big office explaining shit you should never have to explain.

I really doubt more reliable service providers actually exist in any great number for it to matter to you - in a nutshell - you put all your eggs in one basket and you suffered for 24 hours or so. For me the downtime really was just 2 hours 30 minutes, and I'm inclined to believe Google are telling the truth on this - I suspect some of your problems lay elsewhere, I'd start with your ISP.

Re:Beta = Test Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994963)

Um... Read the article, don't just rely on the summary.

"In order to compensate customers for any lost business due to the outage, reports say that Google will offer 15 days of free service to businesses and organisations that pay for the email service."

So, yes. Everyone was affected. According to the linked article, even Google itself was affected.

Also, if you want a stream a little closer to the spring:
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/update-on-todays-gmail-outage.html

- Wlerin

Re:Beta = Test Environment (1)

riflemann (190895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996137)

You can test and test all you want outside of production, and any respectable shop will have every piece of code thoroughly unit tested and will test "significant" changes against simulated (for changes that load can affect) and limited users.

But, for an environment with huge infrastructure, it becomes literally impossible to test every scenario against real user loads with real user patterns ("random" requests is not real).

When your test scripts get timeouts, they gently retry after $TIMEOUT. People arent like that. Never underestimate the power of $BIGNUM users clicking 'reload' every coupla seconds....

They should apologize (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990489)

for their lame layout - should give people a way to avoid (or change) the styled buttons, not all of us can easily read them now.

Re:They should apologize (1)

joelpt (21056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995533)

What about basic HTML mode? Or does that constitute 'disabling Javascript'?

My bad. (5, Funny)

Maintenance Goof (1487053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990575)

Sorry, My bad.

Re:My bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994227)

Sorry, My bad.

That was funny! Did you just create an account for posting?

Re:My bad. (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994571)

You, Sir, has single-handedly made the phrase into a permanent meme on Slashdot!

And oh, you must be new here.

Stop complaining people, it wasn't that big a deal (5, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 5 years ago | (#26991177)

First off, it's free, it gives you 7 Gigs of mail storage and it's accessible from any where or any device with an Internet connection.
It searches through my 4 years of e-mail faster than Outlook ( in cached Exchange mode) can search
the last week. They keep adding features - for free;
have no annoying Flash ads and the ones they do have are off on the extremes of the page.

If you don't like it, stop using them - I promise you there won't be any pesky cancellation fees.
Hotmail and Yahoo await you and we'll miss you all - maybe.

SLA HA HA HA (1)

digitaltraveller (167469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993581)

It's alot worse than you seem to know.

I've been having problems with gmail for 4 days now. My mail STILL isn't being delivered.

I have sent two emails a day (morning and evening) to my Yahoo account over the last 4 days.

None have been delivered. This still isn't fixed.

Re:SLA HA HA HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26995281)

How do you know Yahoo isn't the one causing the problem :)

Re:SLA HA HA HA (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001201)

Sorry to hear that but it's not a universal problem - I've had no issues with Gmail and the only time that there was an outage that was long enough for me to notice was over 2 years ago.

All in all, their free service has been an order of magnitude better than the various Exchange environments I've been in ( including BP ( 2 years ago, HP ( currently) and several medium sized ISPs) in terms of both service speed / reliability, mailbox size, searching and spam filtering / virus scanning.
Of course, Google doesn't yet measure up with respect to the groupware or application integration features - and probably never will.

I have nothing bad to say about Yahoo mail - haven't really used them in years but Hotmail's pathetic spam filtering keeps me so busy cleaning up the mailbox that I rarely have time to read my messages.

firSt p0st?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991767)

juggernaut either 7ly...3on't fear

Quityerbitchin! (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992823)

I don't understand people who rely on Gmail, or any other free webmail, as their primary and business-critical point of contact. There is no SLA, no contractual obligation, no guarantee of anything. Anything can happen to your email and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

The logic is quite simple: if you can't live without something, then get a guarantee in writing, and pay the premium for that extra service. In Gmail's case, there is no premium service, so you'd better start looking elsewhere.

It's cute that the Google folks are apologetic, but what they should have said is "Shut the fuck up, we don't owe you a damn thing. Do you know how much of a pain it is to run a public mail service ? Be grateful we give you free email at all, you whiny little attention whores.". I wish!

there's a reason they didn't say that (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993263)

They want people to use gmail, which is of course the reason they offer it in the first place. They make a significant profit off it, and would lose money if they drove away users.

Re:Quityerbitchin! (1)

mkendall (69179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993531)

The logic is quite simple: if you can't live without something, then get a guarantee in writing, and pay the premium for that extra service. In Gmail's case, there is no premium service, so you'd better start looking elsewhere.

Actually there is. Gmail is available as part of Google Apps for Your Domain [google.com] . Premier Edition costs $50 per user per year and offers a 3-nines uptime guarantee.

Re:Quityerbitchin! (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995783)

There is no SLA, no contractual obligation, no guarantee of anything.

If you're paying for the premium version of Google Apps (which you should be it's a business-critical domain), you get a 99.9% SLA, which by my calculations they are still well within.

Despite that, they are giving premium users 15 days of free service. There aren't many service providers I know of who would just go ahead and do that - most of the ones I've worked with would point blank refuse, and some of them will make you fight to get service refunds when they actually *have* missed the SLA.

Re:Quityerbitchin! (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998401)

I routinely give away full months of free service to my customers if they have a problem - even for tiny things like management interface issues that prevent them from doing something they should have. For major issues, the only real way to compensate a customer is to give them x amount of their money back. Google's "you may get 15 days" SLA is very, very weak. Purely my opinion; obviously many people think it's the most awesome generous thing a company could ever do. If you look around though, it's bottom of the barrel.

Actually another problem may exist... (3, Informative)

Puppet Master (19479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992855)

Not sure how wide spread this is, but I use OpenDNS both at home and at the office as my resolving name servers. Recently some ass hat apparently set gmail.com on OpenDNS's filters. Labeled it as a Webmail client. So, for the past 2 days I couldn't get logged on to my Gmail account while at the office, kept saying login failure. But at home it would work fine. I changed to the company's internal DNS servers for resolving and suddenly my Gmail would connect... So, anyone using OpenDNS and still not able to connect might look into that. I have sent OpenDNS admins a request to re-check that filter... It's kinda pointless to just block everything that someone *thinks* should be blocked.

Re:Actually another problem may exist... (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995799)

Recently some ass hat apparently set gmail.com on OpenDNS's filters. Labeled it as a Webmail client.

Bastards! They labeled one of the biggest webmail providers around as a webmail client?

Next they'll be labelling myhotteenpussy.com as a porn site.

Business continuity plan? (1)

haeger (85819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995009)

Yes it's damn annoying when email or some other part of your critical infrastructure goes out, but this really should have been planned for in advance. Not by google but by you.
Things happen. Things that are out of our control but we still have to deal with them. This outage was quite short for most people. A day at the most from what I hear, but what if the outage had been longer? A week? A month? How would you have dealt with it?

I always keep a few lists of things to do, people to call, things to write should a business disturbing event occur.

So should any business that want to continue living do too. And so should probably you!

in an interconnected world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996311)

a failure in a piece leads to a global failure.

Oh!, I think we were talking about economics here.

Data redistribution? (1)

Eriky (724600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996499)

Too bad they don't tell more details. Their software can withstand lots of problems: network partitions, data center outages, failing routers, etc. This time, a new piece of of algorithm apparently did not do a very good job at redistributing data at the time of the data center failure. I'd like to know what it tried to do? Did it try to push too much data to one single location, causing that location to become unresponsive, in turn causing it to start redistributing data as well? I'm glad they didn't loose my email. But I think now is a good time to start making backups using IMAP.

Support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26997641)

Maybe if there was some way to contact Google when a problem arises?

And no, forums do not count.

As much money as they have, they should have a HUGE customer support staff working 24/7.

Did you mean: apologized? (1)

wlandman (964814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998365)

Am I the only one who noticed it should be apologized not apologised?

Re:Did you mean: apologized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000153)

Depends which side of the pond you on, guvnor.

What really happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999061)

I don't have the tech know-how to know why, but I do note that since the blackout, a cascade of spam has sputtered off to nearly zero. Were they shutting a big hole somewhere?

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