From Gmail to Gfail: Google's G-Suite topples over for unlucky netizens, rights itself

East Coast looks to be hardest hit. C'mon, Chocolate Factory, we're relying on you to pull us through


Updated A bunch of Google services, from Gmail and Google Drive to Hangouts and Classroom, fell offline for unlucky netizens in North America today.

The Mountain View ads giant said a "partial outage" knocked bits of its G-Suite service down, and it seemed the East Coast of the US was the biggest areas hit, with apps and websites failing shortly before noon local time. Systems were restored about an hour later.

Google outage heat map

A USA map showing notspots of inaccessible Google services ... Source: DownDetector

The outage affected Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts Chat, and Meet services. The G-Suite admin console and Classroom services were also down. Basically, Google said users reported being unable to access its platforms. Now, with things back to normal, hopefully, the web giant said:

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

With workers telecommuting en masse amid the global coronavirus pandemic, folks and organizations will have felt the effects of this outage, especially those who have opted to use the Hangouts and Meet services to keep in contact with colleagues, friends, and family.

This outage also comes at a particularly bad time for teachers and students, as the coronavirus response has a number of schools relying almost exclusively on Google services to connect tutors to pupils.

The Register has put in a request for more information and will update the story should Google provide.

These sort of fall-overs are becoming an annual occasion for the Mountain View ads giant. Last year around this same time a similar outage occurred with the G-Suite.

Google's downtime comes just one day after a number of businesses were left without internet connections thanks to an outage that hit Broadcom's (formerly Symantec) WSS web-based security service. ®

Updated to add

On Friday, a Google spokesperson told The Register the outage was down to the failure of networking gear in one of its data centers.

"Some of our users experienced a service disruption ... as a result of a significant router failure in one of our data centers in the South Eastern US, causing network congestion," the web giant said.

"As a result, Google services running in that data center were directly impacted and were unavailable until our engineers rerouted the traffic and moved those services to alternate facilities."

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022