gfail1 300x132 (Updated) Gmail Problems Arise Once Again. [downtime]We’re receiving messages and tweets reporting Gmail being down for some and inaccessible in parts for others.

This comes soon after a major downtime period just three weeks ago, where the company were forced to explain they had completely underestimated the load on their service when performing some standard maintenance.

The service dashboard (below) currently shows that Gmail is in fact having service issues and Google is aware of the problem.

In status update 1, Google says:

“We’re aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a small subset of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail, but we’ve provided a workaround below. We will provide an update by September 24, 2009 4:29:00 PM UTC+1 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change. You can access Gmail via IMAP”

Update 2: In a second update, Google explains:

“Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users within the next 1 hours. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.

The Gmail issue should now be resolved for most of our users. There still might be issues with your contacts. For Gmail users: Use www.google.com/contacts to access your contacts For Google Apps Customers: www.google.com/contacts/a/yourdomain-name.com”

Update 3: In a third update, Google says:

We are continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by September 24, 2009 6:30:00 PM UTC+1 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.
The Gmail issue should now be resolved for many of our users. Contacts and chat are still not working. For Gmail users, you can use www.google.com/contacts to access your contacts. Google Apps customers can use www.google.com/contacts/a/yourdomain-name.com
“We are continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by September 24, 2009 6:30:00 PM UTC+1 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.
The Gmail issue should now be resolved for many of our users. Contacts and chat are still not working. For Gmail users, you can use www.google.com/contacts to access your contacts. Google Apps customers can use www.google.com/contacts/a/yourdomain-name.com”
Update 4: Gmail is apparently up and running again as normal. Google reports in:
The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support.

Maintaining near perfect up time for a company like Google is critical. With the search giant trying to expand their array of products into business applications for major corporations, downtime, particularly for email, just can’t happen. Not this frequently anyway.

Picture 410 600x269 (Updated) Gmail Problems Arise Once Again. [downtime]