Gmail hit by massive outage: Up to 35 million affected

Gmail hit by massive outage: Up to 35 million affected

Summary: Google suffered a serious outage to its Gmail web-email service yesterday, which could have left up to 35 million users without access to their messages.

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Google suffered a massive Gmail outage last night that affected up to 10 percent of its global users, leaving them unable to access their personal email accounts --- and in some cases, their work email.

The outage began at 12:42 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and lasted for more than an hour. While many Gmail and Google Apps users in the U.S. were left without access, it appeared that the UK, Europe, and Asia remained mostly unscathed by the outage.

Google initially said the outage affected less than 2 percent of the Gmail user base, with the estimated 5.3 million affected users "unable to access Google Mail". Half an hour later at 1:46 p.m. EDT, Google said that the problem "should be resolved".

Later in the evening, Google hiked the figure and said the problem had caused "less than 10 percent" of its user base were left without their email.

The company noted on its Google Apps Dashboard: "it's possible that some users may experience message delays because affected accounts weren't available to receive messages. The messages will be successfully delivered after account access is restored."

Reports suggest that only the web interface was affected by the outage, while those using IMAP/POP connections in a third-party desktop client, or mobile users, could still access their accounts and email.

It's the first major outage since the end of October last year --- beyond the occasional five-minute hiccup --- where Gmail fell down for an hour.

Google was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

The web giant achieved 99.984 percent uptime last year, according to its internal statistics, which stormed ahead of cloud computing competitor Microsoft, after the Redmond-based company suffered a series of high-profile outages of its own.

It came only a few days after the UK's advertising authority initiated an investigation into the claims Microsoft made about its cloud service reliability. The company has been quick to explain why many of its outages occurred, but nevertheless left many Office 365 customers without email or communications for periods of half-days at a time.

Image credit: Spencer E. Holtaway/Flickr.

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Topics: Browser, Collaboration, Google, Outage

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14 comments
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  • M$ uses what OS for their servers?

    Maybe if M$ follows the leaders a little bit closer and runs *nix instead of Winblows they wouldn't have so much down time ;~) Let the fanboy wars begin!
    baylors
  • Gmail hit by massive outage: Up to 35 million affected

    What OS does Google use again? That's right and that's why I won't use it. This incident points out the flaws with using the cloud as well.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • This wasn't an OS issue. It was a connection issue.

      Microsoft's were (some of them).
      Lewis Goddard
      • Do not blaspheme Loverock's religion

        or he will declare a fatwa on you.
        james.vandamme
  • Why report last year's MS outage

    The MS mud throwing at the end of article was not necessary.
    owllnet
    • Perhaps because

      Of cloud reliability. I'm presuming Zack consider gmail to part of a cloud. This is a big issue, especially considering Azure and now dear old Google have dropped the ball in an epic manner.

      Perhaps that was a bit of his thesis, albeit not expressed especially well.
      ego.sum.stig
  • Unlike Microsoft, Google can claim 99.9 percent cloud uptime

    Is this part of Google's 99.9% uptime?
    bb_apptix
    • They haven't hit 99.9 %

      and I guess this would impact that claim even more?
      William Farrel
  • No cloud for me

    Those who live by the cloud shall die by it.
    Shara8
  • Wonder if My Account was affected by this Outage?

    No, wait! My gmail account hasn't received email since April 10, in spite of having no changes made to it. Google wants to blame the customer, though, every time its servers screw up. For 7 years I had no problems with gmail, then in February of this year I stopped getting email for weeks at a time.

    Google isn't just having "cloud" problems. I believe that in addition to its servers, it 's having tech problems (as in the quality of folks who are supposed to keep Google's systems going).

    Fortunately, there are many other email sources around and I've moved most of my email to another one, but I believe Google is going downhill fast!
    abbenormul
  • I want my money back!!!

    ...and I want them to pay for all the mail they lost!!! Boo hoo. ....Oh wait....

    My 'net has been down for longer than that, and not in the middle of the night either.
    james.vandamme
  • iCloud next?

    Nah, couldn't happen.

    Nothing ever goes wrong with Apple's products or services, even in the cloud.

    But, if anything does go awry with iCloud, it's just going to be one of those internet outages, and Apple won't be to blame. And neither will any of the other cloud services be to blame. In fact, if the "whole cloud" were to have a major outage, the content providers will just shrug it off and blame the whole thing on that quirky and unreliable cloud.
    adornoe
  • So... any downtime for Yahoo mail?

    Has anyone heard of them being down? I've never experienced any downtime with Yahoo in 12 years.
    khunter
  • Yahoo?

    http://downrightnow.com/yahoomail

    Looks like its down as often as its up.
    meski.oz@...