Gmail, YouTube, Drive … services are badly affected

GOOGLE FAILURE. On Monday, September 14th, early in the afternoon, Google suffered a global outage of around 30 minutes to 1 hour. Most of its services like Youtube or Gmail are affected. The American giant spoke of problems related to its identification system and internal storage.

[Mis à jour le 14 décembre 2020, à 23h29] Internet users around the world had no access to Gmail, Google Drive, or even Youtube for about an hour. The American web giant Google suffered an outage on Monday, September 14th due to an internal storage problem. From around 1 p.m. French time, Internet users from different countries around the world reported problems on various Google websites. So Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Websites, Groups, Hangouts, Chat, Meet, Valut, Flows, Forms, Cloud Search, Keep, Tascks, Voice, Google Discover or even Google Analytics n ‘were no longer accessible to its users. At the height of the bug, the DownDetector specialty site identified more than 54,000 computer problems.

The American company’s locations weren’t the only ones not working. Other important services such as Youtube, Youtube Music, Youtube TV, Discord, Classroom or Pokémon Go no longer work either. The outage would have started around 1:00 p.m., and some platforms like Gmail were back up at 1:30 a.m. from our observations. According to users and websites, the restore came later. Youtube, for example, ran around 1:45 p.m. French time.

This Google breakdown is not a trivial breakdown. It has taken some time to fully return to normal, given the magnitude of the problem. The newspaper Le Monde received a statement from Mountain View at the end of the day. Google actually suffered “a failure of its authentication system lasting about forty-five minutes” from 12:47 p.m. French time, a spokesman for the American giant said in the evening paper. This error occurred “because of an internal storage quota problem. Services that require users to connect had high error rates during this period,” the source argues. “The problem with the authentication system was fixed at 1:32 pm Paris time. All services are now restored,” said the Google spokesman. “We apologize to all concerned and will conduct a thorough follow-up to ensure that this problem does not occur again in the future,” Google told AFP in a similar message that evening.

Before this indirect communication from Google, the Google Workspace platform, which offers companies several professional tools, had already warned on Twitter in the early afternoon that there was “a persistent problem with regard to several products”. She assured that Google teams were investigating this bug. At the same time, the @ GoogleWorkspace account shared an address with which we could follow the status of the various services from Mountain View. With the exception of Orange Gmail, all of this page was green again at 2:30 p.m.

We are aware of an ongoing issue with multiple products and our teams are investigating it. Updates will be published in the status dashboard: https://t.co/Y3OJ3Lg1ML

– Google Workspace (@GoogleWorkspace) December 14, 2020

A server problem with Google

The Google search engine did not appear to be affected by this huge flaw. Searches have always been possible on Google.com and Google.fr. It also seems that the bug only affected “connected” mode, meaning only people connected to their Google account could not access the above services. By disconnecting from your Google Account or browsing privately, some services like YouTube will actually still be available. Unfortunately, many of the services affected, starting with Gmail, involve just creating an account and logging into that …

From the start of the outage, many internet users noticed and reported the problem on social media and were curious to see if it was their connection. Bug tracking sites like Downdetector have also reported numerous reports as of around 1:00 p.m. (French). However, Google quickly spotted the trail of server problems. Many of these services displayed a “500” error for almost 30 minutes. Specifically, during those approximately 30 minutes or so, when an attempt was made to connect to his mailbox or other services of the American giant, a message was displayed online that said: “Error 500 (server error)”. We came across Google’s famous “Something went wrong …” on YouTube when we tried to access the homepage.

© Youtube screenshot

Global Google crash, maximum impact

According to the specialized website Tech Crunch, Google’s big mistake affected many countries in Europe, but also the USA, India and South Africa. And in these days of widespread teleworking, this mistake could have dire effects. The Gmail and Google Suite messaging services, used by millions of people as well as many businesses, were inaccessible for long minutes. This was also the case with related services like Google Chat instant messaging or access to Drive, which can be used to share and edit documents in real time. In any case, this failure by Google is both extraordinary and grave consequences for much of the activities of individuals and professionals.

This is not the first time that Google services have been down due to an outage. On August 20, global service interruptions lasted more than 40 minutes for Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Meet, and Google Voice. The American company responded quickly, provided an emergency update, and then apologized. It seems that the power outage that occurred on Monday is even greater.

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It should be noted, however, that Google’s services that generate activity and real-time traffic that are unique in the world rarely fail. They’re rare as Google has taken security precautions to ensure the availability of its applications. However, given the large number of users of its services or of third-party services based on its platform, the slightest mistake at Google is very quickly recognized and paralyzed.

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