No Word on Cause of Google Mail Outage

By Jacqueline Lee April 17, 2012

Google has confirmed that Gmail shut down for some users this morning starting at about 9:42 a.m. The outage affected about two percent of the user base, according to Google, although outage reports were widespread. Many users received a temporary 500 error message, which is a generic message to tell users that a website cannot fulfill requests.

Google has confirmed the outage but has not reported why Gmail went down. “The problem with Google Mail should be resolved,” says the company. “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.”

Google also sent out this tweet: “Thanks everyone for the reports of 500 errors, we're working on it.” The Gmail dashboard went green at about 1:46 p.m.

The first news of the outage came through social media as users lit up the Twitterverse with complaints about being unable to access Gmail. At first, Google’s dashboard simply said, “We're investigating reports of an issue with Google Mail. We will provide more information shortly.”

Many of the Twitter reports were not in English, indicating that the outage had a global impact.

A 500 error can only be fixed through the web server software because there are no problems on the client side. The error can be caused by a malicious injection hack, which necessitates connecting to the site via FTP and downloading a backup .htaccess file.

A 500 error is a vague error and can be quite frustrating to track down. Often, the cause includes incorrect file permissions or coding errors in the .htaccess file. Administrators can try to track down the error by checking the error log in their cPanel. If the error is a Perl error, then the administrator has to track down the individual piece of faulty code that caused the error.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Contributing Writer

Related Articles

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More

Putting the Flow into Workflow, Paessler and Briefery Help Businesses Operate Better

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/14/2018

The digital transformation of business is generating a lot of value, through more automation, more intelligence, and ultimately more efficiency.

Read More

From Mainframe to Open Frameworks, Linux Foundation Fuels Up with Rocket Software

By: Special Guest    9/6/2018

Last week, at the Open Source Summit, hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project gave birth to Zowe, introduced a new open source soft…

Read More

Unified Office Takes a Trip to the Dentist Office

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/6/2018

Not many of us love going to see the dentist, and one company working across unified voice, productivity and even IoT systems is out to make the exper…

Read More

AIOps Outfit Moogsoft Launches Observe

By: Paula Bernier    8/30/2018

Moogsoft Observe advances the capabilities of AIOps to help IT teams better manage their services and applications in the face of a massive proliferat…

Read More