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back to article Google's email goes titsup (again)

Google's popular free email service failed this morning at about 11am. At time of writing, access to webmail version of Gmail was patchy, and POP3 and IMAP access was unavailable. A Google spokesman told The Register the firm was aware of the problems and was investigating. He apologised to users for the inconvenience. The …

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Happy

its up again

yes I can confirm it went down at around 11am, but as of 11.30 mine works again..

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

Its all working fine here for me and has been all morning, both via web and IMAP

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Anonymous Coward

IMAP access was restored about 20 minutes after failure...

I have IMAP access that's up to date. POP access is only seeing old mail.

Web access is still unavailable. Google's App Dashboard shows a Google Mail service outage.

It's a tad embarrassing for the Chocolate Factory though: three failures in less than 5 months...

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what problem?

i run google domain thinngy for the mail services and haven't seen the problem please explain more

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Coat

Gmail Fail

That's why its beta, and what company would use beta software for important thing like email

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Coat

SHOCKING !!!!

Ths outrage has to end

My gmail account was completely un-usable for more than 4 minutes at 11am

Fortunatly I have a backup email account elsewhere or I would have been forced out of business.

What ever do these people at google do all day. to let this happen is unacceptable.

I will be writing an email to the top man later this year

Shocking

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the chinks

in their armor are becoming gaping holes. glad its not my primary email account...still a nuisance though.

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Stop

Reliability

How can you say "The normally reliable Gmail service"

In the last 18months, they've had more outages than I've had hair cuts, and I like my hair short.

Seriously... normally has to be a sliding scale.

Fortunately, I don't trust goggle with my email, so it's hosted on a secure server that I maintain... I've had no problems recently.

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r76
Pirate

@Gmail fail

Mmm, our Exchange 2007 server crashes my Outlook at least once daily, at least gmail (my personal fallback) had the decency to ship with the beta label on it - despite it being far more reliable.

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Go

Well This Just Sucks !

Oh sorry, I use Yahoo.

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What outage?

Been fine here all morning, both on a domain and as a vanilla Gmail account.

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Joke

@Shocking

Make sure you dont use GFail when you do so!

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Outage?

I use Gmail all the time and despite all these stories about outages, I've never had any problems. Ever.

(Is gmail the same platform as googlemail? If not then that could explain it)

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Dead Vulture

Mine was unavailable for less than 7 mins

If I hadn't checked the logs I would never have noticed. I was only checking logs out of boredom as 7 minutes is the average page load time for El Reg recently. Anyone else noticed this?

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Flame

G-fail is looking very familiar

Maybe it's to make the BlueYonder/VM crew feel more at home when their mail is all migrated to the Gmail platform whether they like it or not soon?

Mail that works as and when it feels like it has been part and parcel of our experience since long before VM became involved, presumably that migration is so we can still endure an email server that sucks ass, but there'll be a convenient scapegoat to blame.

(And before anybody starts about free stuff being worth what you pay for it - I'd already reached the same conclusion and use something more reliable than either BY or G-fail myself)

Flames - because firewood is all the BY mailserver is good for.

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Anonymous Coward

well

"Mmm, our Exchange 2007 server crashes my Outlook at least once daily, at least gmail (my personal fallback) had the decency to ship with the beta label on it - despite it being far more reliable."

Mine works perfectly fine with no crashes, ever thought it was your pc not the exchange server!

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SLAs?

Hi,

Where do I find a copy of the SLA for that google email service?

i.e. a definition of what comprises a working service and the targets for it's provision (availability, response times, helpdesk/service provision details etc. etc.).

It appears that none of the free/ad-based services actually make proper SLAs available (please do point me to exceptions!!!) .

Consequently the users/customers have no idea what level of service they are signing up to.. and the providers either have no targets - or if they do they fail to publish them.

So... how many outages of what duration over what time-period is "within the agreement" for the free/ad-funded google email?

What's acceptable to me might not be to you.

As a user/customer I want my *expectations set* accurately as to what it is that the provider is.. .providing.

If I find the service offered to be of value I can chose to use it - and if I think it's not up to the level I require I can go elsewhere.

Without a proper SLA (or something like it) how can I and the service provider possibly work out if the service fits my needs - and how can the provider be sure that my expectations are not too high for what they are offering?

If the free/ad-funded service is not appropriate for me.. maybe they can up-sell me to a paid account - where i can see and value improved targets for availability and support. But if I have no clue what each is aiming to provide (free/ad-funded vs paid-for) - how can I judge which offers best value?

Where can we start the Campaign for SLAs for all our favourite/essential online services?

Comments?

Steve.

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Silver badge

@Steve Adams re. SLAs?

You can't have a SLA for a free service. For a formal agreement you need a contract to exist, and for that there needs to be a payment by the user of the service to the provider of the service.

If you use a free service then you get what you are given and that is all you can expect.

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@ Frank

Re: "You can't have a SLA for a free service."

Why not?

The provider is perfectly entitled to offer one and I am entitled to accept it.

There may very well be issues of enforcement - but I think reputation is what is really at stake and it is in the interests of large providers to deliver what they promise.

My point is there is value to us both (provider and customer) in having an SLA - so why not have one?

Re: "If you use a free service then you get what you are given and that is all you can expect."

In the absence of an SLA (or something like it) you are correct. However - if the provider set your expectations appropriately you would be able to live with an understanding of what to expect.

If you are not interested in the terms of the service - then don't read them carry on with your "happy accepting what you get" approach.

btw. I use a pay-for email service for my primary personal email (via fastmail.fm) simply because none of the free/ad-funded services provided the level of service and support I required - even apparently for the pay-for versions.

Steve.

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Anonymous Coward

it often crashes explorer

... but it is still miles better than my work (exchange) email which crashes daily, has lost 3 DAYS of emails YTD (no bounce, just gone).

the quality of minds patroling gmail's servers will be far higher than those talking about ManU/Chelsea/Arsenal three doors down from me in the server-room

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Unhappy

Virgin mail down all day too

or just me?

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Re SLAs

As GMail - have a look at the Terms. It's pretty clear you're on your own if something goes wrong.

4. Provision of the Services by Google

4.3 As part of this continuing innovation, you acknowledge and agree that Google may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you. You may stop using the Services at any time. You do not need to specifically inform Google when you stop using the Services.

4.4 You acknowledge and agree that if Google disables access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Services, your account details or any files or other content which is contained in your account.

15. Limitation of Liability

15.1 Nothing in these Terms shall exclude or limit Google’s liability for losses which may not be lawfully excluded or limited by applicable law.

15.2 Subject to overall provision in paragraph 15.1 above, Google, its Subsidiaries and Affiliates, and its licensors shall not be liable to you for:

(A) any indirect or consequential losses which may be incurred by you. This shall include any loss of profit (whether incurred directly or indirectly), any loss of goodwill or business reputation, or any loss of data suffered by you;

(B) any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of:

(i) any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any advertising, or as a result of any relationship or transaction between you and any advertiser or sponsor whose advertising appears on the Services;

(ii) any changes which Google may make to the Services, or for any permanent or temporary cessation in the provision of the Services (or any features within the Services);

(iii) the deletion of, corruption of, or failure to store, any Content and other communications data maintained or transmitted by or through your use of the Services;

(iii) your failure to provide Google with accurate account information;

(iv) your failure to keep your password or account details secure and confidential;

15.3 The limitations on Google’s liability to you in paragraph 15.2 above shall apply whether or not Google has been advised of or should have been aware of the possibility of any such losses arising.

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Coat

Credit crunch, swine flu, now this???

I can hear Four Horsemen fiddling with their spurs...

Seriously, what a load of nonsense. An email provider had a wobbler, so what.

Actually, maybe such wee outages should be mandated weekly, after all who amongst us absolutely 100% must have that penile enlargement email right now? Might do us all good to unlpug for a bit every day.

Cue the "Don't you know I'm an important businessman with a BlackBerry" types to insist that their connectivity is what binds the universe together...

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Re SLAs

"Without a proper SLA (or something like it) how can I and the service provider possibly work out if the service fits my needs"

You use your intelligence and intuition. With *no* SLA, assume the worst can happen and you wouldn't have a pot to piss in when it came to compensation.

" - and how can the provider be sure that my expectations are not too high for what they are offering?"

I'm sure the provider couldn't care less about your personal requirements if it's attracting enough sign-ups to its free lunch, I mean service.

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@dutchoven

googlemail is just another alias of gmail - for legal reasons they couldn't use gmail in europe.

If you were on early, you'd use gmail, if you joined later, its googlemail !

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Re SLA's cont. & @Nigel Kneale

Hi Nigel & thanks for joining in :-)

Yes. Understood and agreed.

Re: "With *no* SLA, assume the worst can happen and you wouldn't have a pot to piss in when it came to compensation."

Like I say - I use a pay for email (upgraded from a one-off charge account to an annual subscription) via fastmail.fm.

I seriously considered gmail - because of all the popularity & hype etc... but when I looked at the terms (like you pasted) I used my "intelligence and intuition" and went elsewhere.

My decision was also based on the features (e.g. IMAP) and costs/value-for-money too... but the terms and support service were/are important to me too.

Are there (proper) SLAs for google's pay for services anywhere???

I don't mean "T&Cs" - I mean proper SLA type docs which give targets for availability and explain how any downtime will be managed. And what about the customer service - do you get a useful and responsive phone or email service?

I think this lack of attention to the quality of service - both provision of the service (availability, reliability, responsiveness) and customer care/support - is due to:

i) An immature market - still working out how to provide such services

ii) A lack of demand for - or lack of appetite to pay for - a quality of service beyond "you take what you get"

I would love to see a movement whereby we users/customers demanded a higher level of service (provision & support) and ensured this market matures - even in the ad-funded stuff.

Also - where I believe I will receive service (help and attention when required) I will happily pay for services.

Comments?

Cheers, Steve.

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Paris Hilton

In defence of GMail

I have always used GMail on the assumption it would carry some risk. However, it has proven a far better SPAM filter than all my paid for ISPs and has become my default service. It could do with a few tweaks but the convenience factor outweighs all drawbacks.

Paris because she still appears on some of my filtered SPAM.

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Silver badge

Tell me again ...

Tell me again why "cloud services" are the way to go?

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Happy

gmail not always free

loads of companies use gmail for their internal email + Virgin Media are supposed to be in the process of switching their subscribers over:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/15/virgin_media_gmail/

15 minutes of down time compared to how often VMs email server fell over is a dream (at least from when I could put up with VMs unreliable/spam riddle email service).

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Alert

gmail vs googlemail

Regardless of whether you signed up early or not you can use your [username]@gmail.com and [username]@googlemail.com as if they were interchangeable.

Both addresses point to the same account (no one will ever know you're a n00b).

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Stop whining

You get what you pay for.

I use 1 and1 to host my personal e-mail and I don't ever remember it being down (the webmail server has taken a lie down for 10 minutes or so a couple of times in 4 years but thats it)

The Google world domination coporation stick the beta tag on everything (all of which is crap) so they are not held responsible when it fails.

Want 5 9s reliability? then it'll cost ya.

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Paris Hilton

VMedia!!>!>!>???

would the fact that as the reg states in an article that VM are goign to use gmail as their email service for customers?

Maybe that has something to do with it, maybe VM are rubbing off onto google????

Paris cos well, she could rub up against me any time!

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Alien

synchronicity?

We had several outages on our equipment over this weekend. A randomness is out of the window.

Has anybody been screwing with the power? Solar activity (low apparently)?

Very weird weekend indeed.

amanfromMars, give us a clue!!!!!

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Bronze badge
Flame

Google deserves it for not stopping spammers

Google deserves the outages. They are doing very little to address the spam problems that overload their servers. Putting the spammers out of business would vastly improve the Internet for everyone. By their past success, Google is actually in a good position to be a leader in fighting spam at almost every level--but they do little to nothing.

Google's latest pro-spammer policies are to censor people who complain too much about the spammers. Head in the sand is NOT a solution to a problem that really deserves to be addressed. Not just NOW, but years ago.

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