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GMail Experiences Serious Outage

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the works-here-never-mind dept.

Communications 408

JacobSteelsmith was one of many readers to note an ongoing problem with Gmail: "As I type this, GMail is experiencing a major outage. The application status page says there is a problem with GMail affecting a majority of its users. It states a resolution is expected within the next 1.2 hours (no, not a typo on my part). However, email can still be accessed via POP or IMAP, but not, it appears, through an Android device such as the G1." It's also affecting corporate users: Reader David Lechnyr writes "We run a hosted Google Apps system and have been receiving 502 Server Error responses for the past hour. The unusual thing about this is that our Google phone support rep (which paid accounts get) indicated that this outage is also affecting Google employees as well, making it difficult to coordinate."

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408 comments

Anti-Slashdot Effect (4, Interesting)

ink (4325) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278415)

Seems to be fine at the moment. Is this the first anti-slashdot-effect?

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (1, Offtopic)

maharg (182366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278441)

Heh. Post First. Working fine here too (uk).

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278785)

Before more users jump on the useless non-interesting "working for me"/"not working for me" posts, dont do it. No one really cares.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278801)

no one cares what you think, so shut the fuck up and go back to eating cheetos and masturbating to japanese upskirt porn.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (1, Redundant)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278917)

What I mean is that "it works me at place x" is pretty useless. How is it interesting reading 300 posts like that? Theres more intelligent things to discuss about it than if it happens to work for you at this very minute at your random location. It's already established that things are broken.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278941)

Theres more intelligent things to discuss

Maybe take some of your own advice there. Trolling on Slashdot isn't exactly intelligent is it?

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278929)

From as up-tight as you sound, maybe you're the one who could use the cheetos and furious masturbation to japanese upskirt porn =P

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (0, Offtopic)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278861)

Before more users jump on the useless non-interesting "working for me"/"not working for me" posts, dont do it. No one really cares.

Well I guess you don't care. However I find it worth noting that over the past week or so I've had intermittent problems logging on to Gmail. Usually lasting no more than 5-10 mins at a time hardly worth noting, until this article. And today, for instance, I was alerted to another situation by the angry cursing of my girlfriend as she attempted to log into her account. Whether it's related or not I do not know. Just figured I would share my experience of the matter.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278903)

Before more users jump on the useless non-interesting "working for me"/"not working for me" posts, dont do it. No one really cares.

Well I guess you don't care. However I find it worth noting that over the past week or so I've had intermittent problems logging on to Gmail. Usually lasting no more than 5-10 mins at a time hardly worth noting, until this article. And today, for instance, I was alerted to another situation by the angry cursing of my girlfriend as she attempted to log into her account. Whether it's related or not I do not know. Just figured I would share my experience of the matter.

WHO CARES!

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (0, Redundant)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278475)

Same for me.. was just using it, came here and saw the story, so went back to check, and all is good.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (-1, Troll)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278557)

Same here, I was just on Gmail 5 minutes ago. Funny how our Postfix server at work hasn't had any unplanned downtime in over three years, and my personal Exchange playbox hasn't had any self-induced downtime either. You really think Google could...you know...have a backup? Especially for paid customers. Just another reason for us to stay on our own server.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278671)

Wonder if it will work for www.amd.com. I've come to expect it's unexpected error.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (1)

jazzmans (622827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278683)

Yep, it was out for me for about an hour. dunno why. FWIW, I could still see my inbox on my igoogle page, just couldn't access it.

jaz

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278711)

It stopped working for me, a Texan, for a few hours.

It is interesting to note that www.dell.com was also down for the same time period, and both sites started working again at the same time.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (0, Redundant)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278779)

Was out for about an hour here in Seoul. All rosy now. I'm not sure how local this outage was.

Me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278839)

Google apps for domains, free version. 20 employees have been using it all evening with no issues (Belgium).

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (1, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278915)

Is this the first anti-slashdot-effect?

Didn't you get the memo?

f_slashdot(frontpagelink) => serverfire

has been replaced by

f_slashdot(frontpagelink) => OMG PONIES!!!

I think the memo was distributed in early-to-mid 2006.

Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278919)

It just might be: the news warns people to stay away from and not bother with GMail for a while, so maybe that's exactly what people are doing? Well... except for you, because you peeked!

Indeed (5, Insightful)

pablodiazgutierrez (756813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278417)

So much for handing your email over to Google because it's more reliable than hosting locally...

Re:Indeed (5, Insightful)

DSW-128 (959567) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278467)

I dunno - I've been using G-Mail and Google Apps since each was introduced, and this is the first time one of their outages has impacted me, or anyone else that I talk to (true, that's not a lot of people, but...).

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278501)

GMail is still consistently more reliable than our exchange server. And not by a little.

Re:Indeed (5, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278503)

Yeah, except that it has been extremely reliable. "Reliable" not being the same thing as "perfect".

Re:Indeed (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278877)

I see we have a volunteer for explaining that to a fuming exec that can't get his email at 5:00 PM.

Re:Indeed (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278927)

No problem. That'll be the same exec's that laid off the in-house staff and demanded IT costs are reduced.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278955)

If only he had an iPhone of iPod Touch to check his GMail via pop/imap...

Re:Indeed (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278507)

If your email is that important, you'd better have some kind of redundancy and a backup plan in case the redundancy fails.

Re:Indeed (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278519)

No need to get cocky, kid.

I've used Google mail for years. This is the first outage I've heard of, and it hasn't even affected me. I can tell you the in-house exchange server at my company has caused for more trouble than this for our employees in the past 8 months.

Re:Indeed (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278761)

Lies, gmail has been down several times in the past many times for hours at a time. The difference between google and other service provides isn't the number of outages (gmail has more than even hotmail) it is how they are dealt with. E.g. the App Engine outage [google.com].

Re:Indeed (1)

cailith1970 (1325195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278775)

This is the first outage I've heard of

Really? We had several outages that affected my old company, who was using it as their main email provider. No notice either for one scheduled outage, just "GMail is down for maintenance." Granted, we're in Australia so the times they took it down might have been fine in the US, but a notification would have been good beforehand.

Re:Indeed (3, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278587)

I don't know. Our local email has gone down a few times since I've been here, and this is the first I've heard of Gmail being down.

Also our local email search sucks horribly. I can find a trivial personal message from 4 years ago on Gmail in a fraction of the time I can find suddenly-important work email from six months ago, if I find it at all.

Re:Indeed (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278699)

Are you using Outlook 2007? Are you using Pine? My local email search works just fine thank you....and I can fing sort. Yes the search on the web is pretty good, but not the only thing email needs.

Not that I hate GMail, but I haven't used the web app in probably six months. Hooked it up to Outlook. I can search, sort, see complex HTML emails, and a whole lot of other things better.

GMail has been down several times for varying groups of people. That is always the weird thing. It never seems to be fully down...which is good and bad I guess.

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278639)

I think in general, a company specializing in hosting servers has a less likelihood than company X's IT department to screw up. In either case, outages will occur at some point.

Eh (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278741)

I've had more outages through power loss and the connection being physically severed to locations than I have through gmail, but I do live in the south and everything is above ground around here.

Re:Indeed (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278743)

No one said it's perfect but internet mail services have had at least one or two downtimes and all of the online mail services have been more reliable than my company's mail server. I'd say Google's doing quite well to be honest.

Re:Indeed (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278769)

So much for handing your email over to Google

We handed our mail over and it's the first time I've ever had a problem with them as a corporate mail provider. Almost two years. There may have been one other short outage, but I don't remember it being during business hours.

I doubt you could run a mail server more reliably. And, for the difference in cost, I'd stay with Gmail.

Re:Indeed (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278867)

So much for handing your email over to Google because it's more reliable than hosting locally...

Yeah, because locally hosted servers never have problems or downtime. [rolls eyes]

BREAKING: Snowstorm Proves Global Warming a Myth! (1)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278981)

So much for handing your email over to Google because it's more reliable than hosting locally...

Yeah. As my subject heading says...

Seriously, though: it probably depends on who's doing the hosting. I'm sure there's slashdot readers for whom setting up (and maintaining) their own mail server is a short task done before breakfast without breaking a mental sweat. I'm further sure I could learn to be one of those people, but I'm betting the time I'd invest in doing that is less than the amount I've time I've spent waiting for google to come up.

Re:Indeed (4, Insightful)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278983)

That was dumb. I have handed over our email because it's more reliable than hosting locally. This was the first time we've been affected in over a year and it was for a little more than an hour. That's an order of magnitude better uptime than we had before.

Can you beat Google's uptime? I doubt it. Sure, it's not impossible, but you won't be doing it for less than $50/user?

Wow (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278423)

Someone's gonna get fired over this.

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278547)

Or someone will get congratulated and promoted. It depends on the response to diagnose and fix the issue, whatever it is. Major outages aren't always the fault of some apocryphal guy asleep at the switch.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278845)

Why would you fire the guy who caused it. He would probably be the most carful employee after that. People learn from mistakes firing people even for big mistakes isn't a solid business model and bad HR.

hahahaha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278429)

"The unusual thing about this is that our Google phone support rep (which paid accounts get) indicated that this outage is also affecting Google employees as well, making it difficult to coordinate."

HAHAHHAHAHAHHA

Not surprising (5, Insightful)

Caustic Soda (1286402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278435)

I don't know that this is actually news-worthy. I have never worked for a company which has not suffered email outages, no matter how their email is supported. Granted, GMail has a large list of client companies, but you are a fool of the highest order if you think the name will protect you from outages.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278537)

but why the outage affected clients & employees all the same time? Is this one big giant cloud in googleland? Probably not very wise if that is the case...

Re:Not surprising (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278777)

They have state of the art redundancy (I presume), and they have been extremely reliable so far. So this is really IS surprising and interesting. Hopefully nothing major happened to Google's infrastructure. I even opened CNN to see whether some 9/11 event is not in progress or something... GOOD thing they are back online now.

Re:Not surprising (5, Insightful)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278805)

I think the real story here is that it outlines the downside to moving everything to The Cloud, as a lot of people are trying to promote these days. As you said, email outages are pretty common even at large enterprises. The difference is, CIOs like to be able to go and yell at someone in their office for an outage, and know that it's being worked on in some measurable fashion. They don't like it when your answer is, "I don't know what's going on. Ask Google."

The Cloud is great, as long as it always works. But, in my experience, downtime is far less tolerated in hosted solutions than it is in on-site infrastructure. And stories like this make executives nervous about this stuff.

Just a guess, but (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278443)

It seems like it might be a DDOS attack. I was asked to pass through a CAPTCHA and I made it in. Try this link: https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox [google.com]

Re:Just a guess, but (5, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278527)

WTF how did you get access to my gmail account?

Re:Just a guess, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278577)

Wow that's amazing. We have all the same contacts.

Re:Just a guess, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278833)

WTF how did you get access to my gmail account?

Your mother told me your password last night when we were makin' out

I got in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278473)

If anyone cares, I had no problem logging in just now from Toronto (Canada).

Nooo!!! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278483)

The cloud is falling! The cloud is falling!!

Although my Thunderbird access to Google Apps works fine. :)

Gmail's back (0)

Dragonshed (206590) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278485)

Not to belittle the editorial staff, but gmail was back up and running before the story was posted publically

Re:Gmail's back (1)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278625)

Oh, and you checked alll of Google's server to be sure? Or did you randomly sample from a couple of hundred different points on the Internet?

Not to belittle the parent poster, but I think he thinks the world revolves around him.

Re:Gmail's back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278689)

But now twitter seems to be down. Any connection?

Android working fine here (0)

lothos (10657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278489)

My G1 Android phone is working fine, I'm still able to access and receive gmail.

Is it so unusual? (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278497)

The unusual thing about this is that our Google phone support rep (which paid accounts get) indicated that this outage is also affecting Google employees as well

Doesn't everybody use gmail or related items in some way shape or form during the day?

Re:Is it so unusual? (1)

edraven (45764) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278619)

Probably not those of us who run our own mail servers... and aren't Google. :)

Some hates cloud computing. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278499)

When its a cloud ... expect it to rain.

Dell.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278517)

At the same time Dell.com has been down. Made me wonder if it was just a bad day for computers, or someone attacking companies.

It's spotty (4, Insightful)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278533)

As I type this, I can get in to GMail just fine, but a friend in Texas can't (I'm in Nevada). Guess Google likes us better.

And kudos to the Google team for updating the status when they say they will. Looks like the script they use automatically puts current time + 1 hour in as the default next update time, and they're posting updates before that expire. Too many times, something simple like that gets overlooked.

Re:It's spotty (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278623)

...or maybe they don't. Their mail app status page, located at http://www.google.com/appsstatus#rm=1&di=1&ddo=1&hl=en [google.com] is about 19 minutes behind. I was unable to access Google Mail for about 1+ hour, I was half-way into posting the story myself on slashdot, but then mail service came back up so I ceased editing. Anyway, I feel the news is worth posting, as Google Mail is used by a huge amount of individuals and companies alike.

Dell.Com Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278541)

DELL.Com is down also.. how funny is that

I must be uncharacteristically lucky, then (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278549)

..'cause Gmail works perfectly for me, and has been working just fine the whole day. Does the fact that I am in Finland have anything to do with Gmail not going down?

in my butt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278559)

i want you to put your slashpickle in my butt.. massage my prostate please! it's so much FUN!!!

bored today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278563)

*snore* ... now we are going to see an article by every "tech" writer on the big outage. CNET is probably working overtime as we speak to get this important news out to the readers!

After all, Google is always experiencing these outages and the other options for hosted email and web apps have a 100% uptime.

ok ok... end sarcasm.

Depend on something... pay for admin (4, Insightful)

johnjones (14274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278715)

I think Gmail is a great service for personal accounts...

but for business sorry you need to pay a real live person or support company who will actually be able to deal with your data

how do you get the data out of gmail to switch providers ?

ever serviced a discovery litigation from google ?
(you know where they judge you guilty of you dont come up with the data)

sorry but there is a good reason to keep this stuff on site and working...

regards

John Jones

Re:Depend on something... pay for admin (2, Interesting)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278901)

ever serviced a discovery litigation from google?

No. Have you?

Re:Depend on something... pay for admin (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278931)

.. Simply use a mail gateway..

http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60730

Was that so hard?

Eating their own dog food (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278717)

It it's true that this outage is affecting Google too I have to say that is a good thing. Eating your own dog food, product-wise, is always a good idea.

Re:Eating their own dog food (3, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278875)

It's a good idea as long as your allowed to do something about it. At some companies, you just use it and suffer. From what I've seen, the culture at Google allows people to make contributions (e.g., Labs) to fix things.

Indeed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278727)

I guess it's hard to complain as I use google apps for free.. Though years back I made the switch over from my own personal mail system to escape the infrequent, but intolerable outages from my ISP..

OHh well, I guess carrier pidgeon is still an option.

Bah, gmail is great, if this is it for awhile, I won't complain.

Working For Me Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278729)

It started working again for me at about 5:15pm EDT.

eating your own dogfood (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278735)

Upside: shows confidence in your products; makes it more likely that your engineers will spot problems if they use the software and services themselves; can increase how motivated people are to improve the products

Downside: tainted dogfood kills the engineers who would have investigated the issue

Re:eating your own dogfood (5, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278889)

Solution: Hire food tasters, engineers should only be fed a set number of days after if the tasters aren't dead. Also resolves the issue of engineers complaining about being fed dog food.

Re:eating your own dogfood (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278969)

Solution: Make the beancounters eat the dogfood, not the engineers. Sure, you'll lose a few, but that's just solving another problem. Any BOFH would know that.

Unacceptable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278749)

This is what happens when you force a product out of beta too early. Google should have kept Gmail in beta for a few more years.

Google hosted email (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278783)

I use google apps for my company CellUp.com [cellup.com] (site selling cell phone accessories) and noticed my email go down around 10:30 am pacific time and was back up about 15 minutes ago. At first I thought that their was something wrong with my internet connection. Google Apps has been so reliable for the past few years that it was hard for me to believe that my email was down.

Cloud to Cloud Fail? (1)

Halotron1 (1604209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278815)

The RSS feed shows they've been having problems since yesterday.
I got a 502 error today, not a huge deal for me, I just use it for personal but if I was paying for it I'd be mad, just like people at work get mad at IT when the Exchange server goes down.

Anybody know what kind of hardware setup they have there?

Maybe they contracted a third party company to store the data in the cloud and their service was interrupted?!

my domain via gmail (5, Interesting)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278857)

I drank the Google kool-aid about six months ago and moved my personal domain's mail over to the free gmail service. I've been extremely happy with it ever since.

I think it's interesting that I couldn't access my personal domain gmail during this outage, but my @gmail.com account worked without issue.

But what will happen to all my spam? (2, Funny)

blg42 (1484007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278863)

I use my gmail account whenever I sign up for free services. This is serious people! Where will all my spam go? Oh, wait, nevermind...

Google outage error (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278949)

Still displayed on my screen, as I am watching Tomb Raider on BBC1, so I haven't hit refresh yet. The source does not have any comments either.

Google
Error

        Server Error
        The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

        Please try again in 30 seconds.

Didn't see that... (0)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278971)

I've been using GMail without error from about 0800 - 1500MST.

What outage again? Didn't see it. Must not be as widespread as reported...

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