On Monday, December 14, Google’s services went down for an hour. Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs were all unavailable due to “an internal storage quota issue” – in short, Google ran out of storage space. Among the affected services was Google Classroom, a learning management tool used by many schools. The outage prevented many students from attending their classes for remote learning. After the first fix, Google was operating normally. However, on Tuesday, Gmail started having problems again.
Google’s workspace status dashboard, which displays the functionality of it’s services described Gmail as having “a significant subset of users… seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior”. Emails were not being delivered or received by users of Gmail, which affected many business proceedings.
Interestingly, some users found themselves with the Gmail error message “550-5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist.” As opposed to a temporary outage of Gmail, this message indicates that the email address no longer exists in their database.
As of 12/15/2020 3:51PM PST, the problem with Gmail has been resolved. However, if outages from Google’s services continue to happen, many schools and businesses that rely on these tools could find themselves stranded.