April 18, 2012

Gmail Down for an Hour, Affects 5 million Users

Google's Gmail email service was disrupted for a bit more than an hour on April 17, disallowing about 2 percent of account holders to access their mail during that time window.

Two percent of Google's email users translates to about 5.25 million people.

No cause for the outage had been revealed by Google admins by 2:45 p.m. Pacific time April 17. The only company statement at that time was: "We've implemented a fix and users should now be able to access their mail.  We apologize for the inconvenience."

Google reported that the outage started at 9:42 a.m. Pacific time. A message from the email administrator at 10:24 a.m. said that "Google Mail service has already been restored for some users." 

A message sent 22 minutes later read: "The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

Hundreds of people reported the outage on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and in Gizmodo's comments, among others. 

Gmail, which now provides users with 7GB of storage, generally has a good uptime record. Prior to April 17, Gmail has been down only once in the last three years and seven times since it went general issue on Feb. 7, 2007.

On Feb. 27 and 28, 2011, Gmail users after signing in found their Gmail inbox contact files empty. About 1.5 million users were affected by that one. There were four outages in 2009, all fairly brief, and one in 2008. 

Google reported that Gmail was available 99.984% of the time in 2010, and 99.99% in 2011.

[via eWeek]