Tagged With outages

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Gmail suffered an outage yesterday, with some users unable to fully utilise the service for close to ten hours after two successive network failures created difficulties. While that sucked if you were one of the people affected, it's worth noting that even a 10 hour outage means 98.6 per cent uptime.

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It's the gold standard of service-level agreements (SLAs): something being available 99.999 per cent of the time (or 'five nines', as those in the trade often call it). But does it really mean anything?

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Yeah, we told you this would happen. As soon as it launched at 7pm yesterday, the Click Frenzy 'Cyber Tuesday' sale site was entirely inaccessible or unusably slow for most people, a situation that persisted for hours in many cases. Combine that with a so-so selection of bargains and it seems clear that while we're all interested in hunting down a good deal, attempting to corral them all in one place didn't help anyone much.

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Twitter experienced a major outage overnight, which led to some activists taking credit for "breaking" the service. According to Twitter itself, however, the problem was a software bug in its own systems. It has been fixed, and Twitter says it is "conducting a comprehensive review to ensure that we can avoid this chain of events in the future".

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iOS and Mac users who are experiencing a bit of an interruption with their iCloud and iMessage services aren't alone. Currently there is an outage affecting "some users", according to Apple, but the problem appears to be fairly widespread. Apple says it is working to resolve the issue. You can keep an eye on the current progress over at Apple's iCloud System Status page.

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Gmail's reliability honcho jumped on the webmail's official blog last night to explain what happened during yesterday's repeated outages. The gist? They took down a few servers for maintenance Tuesday morning (US Pacific time) for maintenance, expected the webapp's "request" routers to handle all the re-directs to valid servers, and ... were unpleasantly surprised. The Gmail team notes that IMAP/POP worked throughout the outages, and that they're working on a fix for similar problems in the future.

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Gmail acting a bit flaky for you lately? You're not a lone. According to CNET, several Gmail users were unable to access their email yesterday. Ditto, according to a couple of your Lifehacker editors. In fact, we've been seeing quite a bit of flakiness from Lifehacker's Google Apps Gmail lately—another sobering reminder that reliance on the web can be problematic. The small silver lining: With Offline Gmail, you can at least continue to access any email you've got downloaded for offline access. If you've been affected by the recent Gmail outages, let's hear about it in the comments.

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Telstra-owned BigPond is Australia's largest ISP, which means that its glitches tend to affect more people than anyone else. Suzanne Tindal at ZDNet reports that a number of NSW and Victorian customers were left without access to email and other services over the weekend, though Telstra claims those services were due to be restored by Monday evening. Have you been hit by the outage? Is it still a problem? Share your experience in the comments.

Telstra fights with BigPond glitch