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Sunday seems really quiet. Hmm, thinks Google, let's have a four-hour Gmail, YouTube, G Suite, Cloud outage

Unlucky netizens struggle to connect to web giant suffering from 'network congestion'

Google is right now recovering from a multi-hour outage that knocked several of its internet services offline for unlucky netizens on Sunday.

Beginning around 12.20pm US West Coast time (1900 UTC), the ad giant started noticing systems, ranging from Gmail and YouTube to its G Suite and cloud hosting platform, were dropping offline for users due to "network congestion."

Folks, particularly in eastern America we're told, will have noticed they were unable to connect to their webmail nor use websites and applications hosted by Google, or at least find their connections to the mothership were slow. Snapchat and Nest, hosted by Google Cloud, were also said to be among a bevy of online services affected.

Some four hours after Google's cloud train jumped the tracks, the Silicon Valley goliath said its engineers had finally hauled their servers back on their feet.

"The network congestion issue affecting Google Cloud, G Suite, and YouTube is resolved for the vast majority of users, and we expect a full resolution in the near future," the team stated in the past few minutes.

Screenshot of Downdetector's Google Home outage map

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Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Groups, and Hangouts, Hangouts Chat and Meet, Google Forms, Keep, Tasks, Voice, Sync for Mobile, and Realtime API, and YouTube all went AWOL for various users shortly after noon and returned hours later at 4.30pm Pacific Time.

"We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support," the tech giant said in an update. "Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

The biz earlier blamed network gremlins for the fault. A few hours ago it said: "We continue to experience high levels of network congestion in the eastern USA, affecting multiple services in Google Cloud, G Suite and YouTube. Users may see slow performance or intermittent errors. Our engineering teams have completed the first phase of their mitigation work and are currently implementing the second phase, after which we expect to return to normal service."

It appears something went rather wrong within Google's core network, as the network congestion managed to flood off all manner of services, from user-facing things like Gmail to backend cloud hosting.

Right now, Google Compute Engine and Cloud Networking are still marked as suffering ongoing "network congestion" issues. We're awaiting a postmortem by Google. ®

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