Partly cloudy: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

Partly cloudy: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

Summary: Users are complaining on Twitter (techmeme) that Google's free Gmail e-mail service is down.TheNextWeb reports that Dutch news service NU.

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Users are complaining on Twitter (techmeme) that Google's free Gmail e-mail service is down.

TheNextWeb reports that Dutch news service NU.nl had to remove ads served by Google-owned Doubleclick because they weren't loading.

We could only verify the downtime for Canada which gives us a 502 server error and Google.us which seems to work for some but not for others:

Strangely enough adding ‘www’ in front of Google.ca does give us a Google front page which would suggest a simple DNS problem.

Gmail and Google Chat appear to be unavailable; Docs and Analytics seem to be fine.

UPDATE 4:05PM EST: According to Google's own Apps Status Dashboard, Google Mail appears to be down, reporting a "service outage." Yesterday, a service disruption was recorded.

UPDATE 4:09PM EST: TechCrunch notes that Google had a brief outage this morning and sent an alert to confirm the problem:

September 1, 2009 8:18:00 AM PDT Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.

TC's Nik Cubrilovic notes that both the Google front-end and its back-end IMAP and POP servers are down.

UPDATE 4:12PM EST: Google says they're aware of the problem:

We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 4:53:00 PM UTC-4 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

UTC-4 is the Eastern Time zone in the U.S.

UPDATE 4:20PM EST: Remember when this happened in May?

UPDATE 4:22PM EST: Mobile users say e-mail's working fine for them.

UPDATE 4:23PM EST: Google's posted another update:

Our team is continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 5:16:00 PM UTC-4 with more information about this problem. Thank you for your patience. Users can access their email via IMAP or POP. You can find instructions for how to do this here.

They also attempt to calm the Twitter storm with a tweet of their own. Some users are rethinking their dismissal of Yahoo or AOL mail.

UPDATE 4:32PM EST: Google's updated again:

Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users within the next 1.2 hours. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.

UPDATE 4:34PM EST: Shanghai, China and Cagliari, Italy checkpoints are appearing unavailable when pinged, but no packets are reported lost:

UPDATE 4:38PM EST: Shanghai appears to be fine now, but Cagliari's still out of the loop. Auckland, New Zealand and Antwerp, Belgium momentarily reported 10% packet loss.

UPDATE 4:48PM EST: More on Antwerp and Auckland, the latter of which persists:

Not sure if this is related. Readers?

UPDATE 4:52PM EST: Twitter's feeling the heat of the Gmail outage, itself a bit slow from hyperattention.

Some are feeling the wrath of an inaccessible cloud:

UPDATE 4:57PM EST: Gmail reiterates IMAP access instructions on Twitter. They also posted about it on the official Gmail blog, naturally. They're handling this much better than the previous outage.

UPDATE 5:03PM EST: Gmail has now been down an hour for some users.

UPDATE 5:35PM EST: Gmail has come back to life. At 5:22, @donreisinger posted on Twitter, "Phew. My Gmail is back. Good thing." At 5:28, @randallb posted, "And we're back." Then the rest of the Twitter chorus joined in.

Topics: Apps, Browser, Cloud, Collaboration, Google, Hardware, Outage, Servers

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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12 comments
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  • Who are these peiple to complain?

    It is a free service, so you get what you pay for.
    GuidingLight
    • How about the people that DO pay

      @GuidingLight: All of my clients which are set up on Google Apps are also currently unable to access their email. They actually do pay for the services. So that is a valid complaint.

      FYI, IMAP seems to be working for me, but web login does not.
      vanchuck
      • So you're paying USD50.00 per person, PER YEAR.

        You're STILL getting what you are paying for...not much.
        IT_Guy_z
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    And this is what happens when you deal with a company that doesn't care about its user base. Google has always neglected their services while they continue to allow their employees to sit around playing with office toys all day. Now its finally catching up with them.

    Also don't forget that Google uses linux on its servers, and here we have server outages. That is a double whammy -- a blow against Google and a blow against linux. All the more reason not to use either one.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Poor idiot!

      I used to laugh at it but its misery became too painful to watch, let alone laugh at.
      Marc Wagner
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    Hi
    I am a Hong Kong user

    it's a bit slow to access via Web Interface but I can still access
    right now.

    And it's normal to grab emails via iPhone
    irislovekelly
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    looks to be back up
    intel352
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    In a perfect world nothing like this happens, EVER! I, unfortunately, do not live in that perfect world.
    network admin
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    The only real concern should be for Googleapps users.
    These are users that pay for the service. We are a
    hospital looking at GoogleApps as a possible option for a
    large portion of our user base. We are currently in a
    beta test (within our own environment) and it's
    interesting to go through a timeframe where service is
    unavailable for no fault of your own. This will make the
    sell of the service a bit more difficult.
    jstepputtis1
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    Yes, Gmail was down, but fortunately I have it tied to Thunderbird, so was still able to send and receive email without a problem. It's easily understood that in these days of high tech, there will be the occasional problem. Avoid the stress and live with it!
    MasterFundi
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    has hotmail ever gone down? . this piece seems a bit dramatic.
    Are these folks using a 'free' mail service for business?!?
    or is this just a email version of having your cell phone nailed to your ear 24/7 ?
    No Email = no breathing ??
    Long shadoW
  • RE: Google's Gmail goes down; outage chronicled on Twitter

    zfkpng,good post!
    homeioy33-24353601834914055300140533613878