Multiple Google Services Experience 90-Minute Disruption

 
 
By Jaikumar Vijayan  |  Posted 2016-01-26 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Google

Users in a number of regions complained of problems with Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive early Tuesday morning.

Several Google services including Gmail, Google Drive and Google Docs appear to have experienced a widespread disruption early Tuesday morning.

Reports on Google's App Status dashboard show the disruption lasted for about 90 minutes before the company was able to restore normal service levels.

Google did not respond immediately to a request seeking comment on the nature of the disruption, how widespread it was and what caused it.

But comments posted by users on Downdetector.com, a site that tracks such outages, show that users in regions around the world, including Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and India, experienced problems.

The comments also show that the nature of the disruptions and the severity appeared to vary by user and by Google service. For example, the most reported problem with Google Drive, at least for users on Downdetector.com, was a failure by the application to load. Other common complaints reported by Google Drive users Tuesday morning were an inability to access files and file syncing problems.

Gmail users, meanwhile, mostly complained about problems logging into their accounts. Some had issues with search, others with Google Classroom and yet others with Chrome.

One user commenting on Downdetector complained about broader problems. "Every single Google service is down in Puerto Rico," the commenter said. "YouTube, Drive, Search, Slides, every single thing is loading extremely slowly or not loading at all."

Google's app status reports show that the disruptions to the different Google services began at around the same time early Tuesday and were resolved at around the same time for most of the affected services—with the exception of Gmail, which experienced a nearly 2-hour-long disruption.

Google began investigating reports of problems with Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Drawings just before 6 a.m. EST on Tuesday. In each case, the company reported solving the issue 80 minutes to 90 minutes later.

Google began looking into problems with Gmail around the same time it was investigating issues with the other services. "Users may see unavailability issues when accessing Gmail Web UI, also when using IMAP or POP," the company had noted. However, Google didn't announce a resolution to the issue until around 8 a.m., nearly two hours later.

Disruptions such as these are not uncommon among the major cloud service providers, even the ones that are considered generally reliable. Last September, for instance, Amazon Web Services, which is regarded as having one of the best cloud service uptimes in the industry, experienced problems with its DynamoDB database service. The disruption lasted for 5 hours and seriously affected services at Netflix, Viber, Reddit and multiple other sites.

In November, Microsoft's Azure service experienced major hiccups in multiple regions around the world as the result of problems with the Azure Storage service. Azure customers had to suffer through nearly 36 hours of intermittent service before Microsoft was able to address the issue.

Google too has had its share of problems. Just last October, Google's Compute Engine cloud infrastructure service experienced a 2-hour disruption that hit customers around the globe. The company blamed the problem on a software defect in an internal system for managing virtual machine traffic on Compute Engine.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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