Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gmail crash results in worldwide outage

Google's Internet mail service, Gmail, stopped working in the wee hours of the morning, leaving users unable to access their email accounts.

The service interruption caused problems worldwide. The U.S. was less affected by the outage, unless you're nocturnal and work at odd hours, as this writer does. I was in the middle of correspondence with someone in Southeast Asia when my service went down.

Over 113 million people use this email service provided by Google worldwide, according to industry analysts.

Professional Gmail users are covered by a service agreement promising to be 99.9% operational in any calendar month.

The Gmail help page carried the following statement:

A number of users have had difficulty accessing Gmail today. The majority are now able to access their email accounts again and we're hoping to have service restored for the remainder very soon. We know how important Gmail is to our users, so we take issues like this very seriously, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

There was also a post on the Google blog.

Those who thrive on communicating in real time sent thousands of Twitter messages carrying the words "gmail" or "gfail". Vnunet.com in the UK reported that users panicked when the Google mail service crashed. Some Gmail users took the service interruption in stride, but many did not, as is evidenced by this message:

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Shirazi said...

That only shows how dependent users are on collaborative web technologies? I wonder what people did when there was no email :-)

Deb S. said...

Shi: From what I hear, a lot of people were very unhappy. Life without email? Perish the thought! ;-)