While no one knows what the cause is as of yet, users of the popular Gmail service from Google are suffering a major outage of the service this morning.
Users of Google’s Gmail service this morning are finding themselves without one of their favorite tools this morning. The severity of the issue varies by users with some unable to reach their email at all, and others not being able to access their contacts or Google Chat. The contact issue also stretches over to the Gtalk instant messaging application.
Google is posting updates to its Apps Status Dashboard. The first message read:
We’re aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a small subset of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail, but we’ve provided a workaround below. We will provide an update by September 24, 2009 10:29:00 AM UTC-5 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.
You can access Gmail via IMAP
As we were writing this article, a second message appeared:
Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users within the next 1 hours. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.
The Gmail issue should now be resolved for most of our users. There still might be issues with your contacts. For Gmail users: Use www.google.com/contacts to access your contacts For Google Apps Customers: www.google.com/contacts/a/yourdomain-name.com
The problem doesn’t appear to be limited to the Web application either as Gtalk on my BlackBerry Tour is also refusing to load my contacts.
Whatever is causing the problem is unknown at this time, and if Google’s track record is anything to go by, we probably won’t know even after it’s resolved. This does raise the lingering question of how dependent people on the Web have become on Google. If a little outage like this can bring so many of us to a halt, what would happen if there was an outage lasting days or weeks?