Google Mail (Gmail) was down today for a while. Accessing the service threw up a 502 error: “The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds”

Google stated on its Apps Status Dashboard that there was an issue with Postini services, which caused the disruption. Our network operations team identified a 3rd party issue that was affecting System 200 inbound and outbound mail. Customers were experiencing 421 errors that resulted in deferrals,” Google wrote. Postini is an e-mail and Web security and archiving service that provides cloud computing services for filtering e-mail spam and malware (before it is delivered to a client's mail server), offers optional e-mail archiving, and protects client networks from web-borne malware.

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The error as visible on the Google Apps Status Dashboard

However, Google quickly resolved the problem and Gmail is back up now. The last post on the Apps Status Dashboard reads, “The problem with Postini Services should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better. 

Only five days ago, both Gmail and Google Chat went down for nearly an hour. The disruption came to light when many Twitter users complained of the service being inaccessible. Interestingly, the downtime was only experienced in the web interface of Gmail, with both the mail and chat service working perfectly on our mobile phones. 

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The error message

Twitter is abuzz with irate/sarcastic users venting their frustration. One user with the handle @JediByKnight has tweeted,”Gmail is down! Gmail is down! *runs around in panic*“, while another user with the handle @jub_in tweeted, “Gmail is down. Gmail is down. 502. People start writing articles on what this could mean for humanity!”

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