Gmail Down for 12 Hours, Google Says ‘Sorry About That’

Just as it is surprising when an Apple or Microsoft service goes down, it was just as surprising when Google's Gmail went down for hours yesterday. According to Google, the e-mail service did not "technically" go down and instead, there were some network errors causing e-mail to come in slower than usual for around 50% of Gmail users.

In reality, only about 1.5% of the service's user base endured true issues with Gmail. The rest of the users experienced "delays," receiving emails of 2.5 seconds.

Google Offers Explanation -- Sort Of

In a blog post, Sabrina Farmer, Google's site reliability manager, apologized and tried to explain why Gmail was slow or inaccessible for some users. She stated that the slow email delivery came as a result of a dual network failure which, according to Google, is a "very rare event."

Even though Google tried to respond to the outage as fast as possible -- and even made some empty promises as to when the service would be fully restored -- it took around 12 hours for Gmail to be working perfectly again. Users began reporting a slowdown around 10 a.m. Eastern on Monday and it was not until 10 p.m. Eastern that things were brought back to normal.

Farmer stated that 71% of all Gmail messages sent during the partial outage were unaffected and were not delayed. The actual network failures seem to have been unrelated but they occurred at just the right time to cause issues for Google and its e-mail platform. As to the technical reasons why the networks failed, Google has been quiet.

Protecting Against Future Issues

Google says that it will be trying to protect its networks from future issues that could potentially cause problems with Gmail or any of its other applications.

"We also plan to make changes to make Gmail message...

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