Gmail is without any doubt, a critical service for success of Google as a marketing tool. It got people used to the idea of cloud computing, e.g. leaving your e-mail somewhere else but your computer.
But for some odd reason, Gmail is currently (12:19PM CET) experiencing its second large outage in the past 30 days. The service is unavailable for the third hour in a row. Outtage began somewhere around midnight California time (09:00AM CET), and continued through the whole morning into a lunch break. I received several e-mails from California and various European countries, and the problem isn’t local, but global. Affected users are from both gmail.com and googlemail.com domains (no wonders there, googlemail.com is just an alias), so if you want to check your e-mail, tough luck.
For some odd reason, Gtalk works with no issues at all, and even shows what e-mails are coming to your inbox. But web interface and iPhone/Blackberry simply cannot acces them.
Another case of server scripts gone awry?
UPDATE #1 February 24, 2009, 12:34 CET – We have received a short statement from Google: “We know how important GMail is to our users so we take this very seriously. We are working on solving the problem in hand.”
UPDATE #2 February 24, 2009, 15:40 CET – Gmail and Gtalk are back, but roughly 20-30% of all visitors can still expect severe difficulties at login. According to Google, no e-mail has been bounced, and the problem lied in interfaces, not in the database. This confirmed our doubt in the article itself.