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More Google Woes: Gmail Issues Strike ‘Significant Subset’ Of Users

It’s the second day in a row of service issues at Google, following a broader Google Cloud outage on Monday.

Google suffered more service issues on Tuesday, though the disruption was limited to the company’s Gmail service.

The issues struck a “significant subset” of users, with the problems including error messages and high latency, Google said on its page for reporting current Gmail status. Users were still able to access Gmail, according to Google.

[Related: ‘Very Frustrating’: Microsoft Office 365 Outage Hits U.S. Again]

The Gmail service disruption appears to have lasted for about three hours, with Google reporting at 6:51 p.m. ET that “the problem with Gmail has been resolved.” The company did not cite a cause for the Gmail service disruption.

On Monday, Google had experienced an outage for all of its Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) services, according to the Google Workspace Status Dashboard. Other Google services, including Google Maps and Google Analytics, were also affected.

On Tuesday, the company’s status dashboard only showed issues with one Google Workspace service--Gmail. The dashboard also indicated that the issues represented a “service disruption” rather than a full-fledged outage, presumably because users were not shut out of Gmail entirely.

Google, which did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday, posted an apology to users on the Gmail status page.

“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,” the message posted by Google reads.

An outage map on downdetector.com showed the Gmail issues affecting users in numerous regions of the U.S. on Tuesday, including the Northeast, parts of the Midwest and much of the West Coast. The issues appear to have started in earnest at around 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, according to the site.

On Google’s Service Details page for Gmail, the company wrote at 4:29 p.m. ET that “we’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users.”

“The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior,” Google wrote.

The Google services issues follow a high-profile outage at Amazon Web Services last month that affected thousands of third-party online services and dozens of AWS services. It also comes after several Microsoft cloud outages on Sept. 28, Oct. 1 and Oct. 7.

On Monday, Google said the Google Cloud had experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes. The outage, which began at 6:47 a.m. ET, was due to an internal storage quota issue, Google said.

At Jones IT, a San Francisco-based MSP, Founder and President Evan Jones said that his team discusses the possibility of outages with any customer that is considering a move to the cloud. About 75 percent of customers at Jones IT are using Google Workspace, while the remaining 25 percent use Microsoft Office 365, he said.

“There are outages with whatever system you’re going to use. The cloud just happens to be less,” Jones said. “And so on the rare occasion when Gmail goes down, like it has the last day or so, you still had to expect that outage and almost celebrate it. Because it would have happened five times as much if you were hosting these types of services on your own.”

Thus, the occasional outage “is an OK thing,” he said.

“It’s to be expected. And these big cloud companies and hosting providers have got probably a few thousand engineers hopping on it--which is going to be much more efficient than if your one- or two-person IT team was working around the clock,” Jones said. “It’s going to go down, and they’re going to get it back up even faster than if it were your own solution.”

Other solution providers have emphasized the need for a hybrid IT approach, due to the possibility of issues such as cloud outages.

Google’s outage on Monday was further proof that “you can’t assume the public cloud is always going to run,” said Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 96 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500, in an interview with CRN on Monday.

“You really need to assume there are going to be outages,” Venero said. “It is smart for businesses to protect themselves with a hybrid approach. Applications that are mission-critical to your organization’s growth and success must be on premises.”

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