Google's Gmail Fails Again

A “majority” of 150 million Gmail users across the globe were not able to access the email service for almost two hours due to some technical glitch, Google has confirmed.

The reason behind the massive outage - which the company later said had been repaired - wasn’t immediately known. The disruption caused most of the Gmail users worldwide to see the error message “Unable to reach Gmail” as their PCs tried continuously to reconnect to the mail service.

Google further said it had taken some of its email service’s servers offline for routine maintenance and during the course, it had underestimated the load that would come on other computers accountable for directing web traffic to proper Gmail servers.

Discussing the cause of sudden outage of its service, Google said in a post to its Gmail blog: “As we now know, we had slightly underestimated the load which some recent changes (ironically, some designed to improve service availability) placed on the request routers -- servers which direct web queries to the appropriate Gmail server for response”.

Incidentally, Google’s last notable technical disruption occurred back in May, when millions of its users were unable to access its main search page, as well as Gmail and Google News. The outage follows the Gmail service outages in February and March.

The free iteration of Google’s mail service is at the third spot in the list of World’s most popular email program, behind the email services being offered by Microsoft and Yahoo.

Our Comments

That is bad, really bad. Users could still access their email via IMAP or POP but Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook was not available. Google did not say exactly what happened but it illustrates how fragile cloud computing can be at times.

Related Links

Service outage hits Gmail users

(BBC)

Massive overload knocks out Gmail

(Press Association)

Gmail in massive web outage

(The Register)

Google mail crash: millions of users across the world affected

(Telegraph)

Gmail outage blamed on capacity miscalculation

(CNet)