Google services, apps hit by global outage

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Gmail, Docs, Workspace, Sheets and Meet were knocked offline for more than a half hour

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14 December 2020 | 0

A range of Google services, including Gmail and Google Docs, were unavailable to customers for more than a half hour today (14/12/20) due to an outage. The services have now been largely restored and are available for most users, Google said.

Users across the world were unable to access the gamut of Google’s productivity and collaboration tools, which also include Google Calendar, Sheets, Meet and Chat. Customers in Europe appeared to be the hardest hit, according to the Down Detector website, with the outage occurring around lunchtime for those in Ireland and the UK; users on the US east coast also faced disruption just as the work day was getting started.

Down Detector showed a variety of Google services in trouble

The outage was acknowledged by Google at 11:55 GMT; the company said it affected “the majority of users.” The outage was subsequently downgraded to a “service disruption” at 12:31 GMT, with some users still affected.

 

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Google announced that the problem had largely been resolved at 12:52 GMT.

“The problem with Gmail should be resolved for the vast majority of affected users,” Google said on its service status page. It promised to “continue to work towards restoring service for the remaining affected users. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

Other Google services affected included YouTube, Maps, and Google Nest.

“A global Google outage is the icing on the cake for 2020, highlighting that the transition to remote work is still a work in progress,” said Raul Castanon, a senior analyst at 451 Research/S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has added momentum to cloud-based applications for enabling a distributed workforce; however, with 1.5 billion Gmail users, this incident shows that a global outage can have a significant impact, with many schools and companies relying on Google for continuity.”

Millions of businesses rely on Google’s cloud services, with a surge in demand for its Meet video service during this year’s pandemic. Google’s Workspace platform (formerly G Suite), has 6 million paid business customers globally, according to data from April. That’s an increase from 4 million in 2018.

IDG News Service

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