It wasn't just you: Gmail went down briefly

It wasn't just you: Gmail went down briefly

Summary: At about 11:45 AM U.S. Eastern time Gmail went down for approximately half-an-hour. [UPDATED}

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Whoops! Gmail was down briefly.

Gmail, Google's popular email service, crashed at approximately  U.S. 11:45 AM  ET/ 8:45 AM PT. At this time, we do not know why nor how this happened. Google has now said, "We experienced an issue with Gmail and some users experienced slow performance or errors. For everyone who was affected, we apologize - we know you count on Google to work for you, and we worked hard to restore normal operation for you. Although our engineering team is still fully engaged on investigation, we are confident we have established the root cause of the event and corrected it. Our current best estimate is that a significant subset of users' Gmail web queries were affected for an aggregate of 18 minutes, from ~08:54 - ~09:00 and then from ~09:04 - ~09:16 Pacific Time."

While the Google Apps Status Dashboard didn't show any trouble with Gmail at the time, numerous users on Twitter, Google+, and other social networks reported the service was down. The handy Down for Everyone or Just for Me Web site also reported that Gmail was down.

Other Google services, such as Google Docs, Google Talk, and iGoogle kept working. The Gmail site itself gave a 502 error code. This message typically means that there's a problem with the gateway or proxy servers between you and the core Web sites.

502 problems can also result from a Domain Name Server (DNS) problem. It seems likely to me that, since the Down for Everyone or Just for Me site reported that it couldn't even find the Gmail site on the Web. 

During today's Gmail trouble, there were also numerous reports that the latest Chrome Web browser would crash when it was confronted with the Gmail failure. I saw this crash myself numerous times during the Gmail outage and, now that Gmail is back in service, Chrome is back to its usual stable ways.

Gmail came back up at about 12:15 PM ET / 9:15 AM PT and seems to be functioning normally. The trouble may not be over yet. A Google press representative said, "We are currently experiencing an issue with some Google services.  For everyone who is affected, we apologize for any inconvenience you may be experiencing."

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Topics: Google Apps, Enterprise Software, Google, Networking, Security

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13 comments
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  • That's it?

    "During today's Gmail trouble, there were also numerous reports that the latest Chrome Web browser would crash when it was confronted with the Gmail failure. I saw this crash myself numerous times during the Gmail outage and, now that Gmail is back in service, Chrome is back to its usual stable ways."

    You don't think it is the least bit troubling that a browser would crash because an email service is down? What would your blog have looked like if IE started crashing because Outlook.com was down?

    Anyone else think this is a troubling sign of where Chrome is heading?
    toddbottom3
    • Can you clarify something?

      Maybe I misunderstood the crashing symptoms. Does Chrome crash ONLY when you browse to GMail? If so, I'll take my above post back. While crashes on websites isn't a good thing, it isn't as bad as a browser crashing because a service is down, making the browser useless even if you aren't going to the affected site. I initially read it to mean that Chrome was crashing even if you weren't going to GMail. Can someone clarify this?
      toddbottom3
      • just how deep does this rabbit hole go

        When you willingly give up all your PI to a company who will mine your information across all devices and give you search results that the highest bidder wants you to have, then it should come as no surprise that everything you touch of theirs supports their business model not you.

        Fine you can live with that; being the product and all BUT when that same technology also exposes you to the most widely available amount of device malware where others will steal all your PI and your money then you have to think - mmmm that model is fundamentally flawed.

        Google is a bad company.
        hubivedder
  • How widespread?

    I was using my personal gmail, my school (corporate) gmail, google docs, and google calendar from 8 to 11 this morning (AZ) and experience none of this.
    blarelli
    • Same here

      I been awake from 8am pst.. no issues on my desktop nor android phone (sending & receiveing mail).
      Anthony E
    • i get

      i get 1 problem with a specific email (out of 8 that i am controlling). This means a (around) 10% of failure. A 10% of 100 million of users is 10 million of user, i.e. widespread.
      magallanes
  • Google's DNS service was down for me at that time

    Google's DNS service was down for me at that time. That may well have been (part of) the problem...
    dvorme
  • Gmail

    Does your electric service ever go out?
    Outages are to be expected.
    The key is how soon service is restored.
    Oscar Jones
    • We would like them to be rare

      But it's not really acceptable for one's browser to crash because the mother ship is off line. Google should be embarrassed.
      John L. Ries
      • You mean like when WGA had a outage.

        http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2007/08/windows-genuine-advantage-suffers-worldwide-outage-problems-galore/
        Anthony E
        • Something like that

          But if you've read more than a couple of my Talkbacks, you probably know that I'm not an MS fan either.
          John L. Ries
      • Well if they can't be spying on you

        Then you can't be using any of their free stuff. Geddit?
        hubivedder
  • Epic fail by Google

    Google failed, and diminished confidence in its services.

    Many people rely on email more than telephone. I even use it to communicate to a family member in the same household when I need to communicate silently.

    It's amazing how unreliable these datacenters are. You couldn't have an aircraft that stopped working for a few hours. Imagine if Boeing and Airbus made services as unreliable as this.

    Google needs to do better than this.
    Vbitrate