12 Comments

Summary:

Interesting situation here at my home office that really illustrates the dangers of relying on web-based services. For the past 75 minutes, I’ve been cut off from "The Google". That’s right: no Google search page, no Gmail and (worst of all) no Google Reader, which I […]

No_googleInteresting situation here at my home office that really illustrates the dangers of relying on web-based services. For the past 75 minutes, I’ve been cut off from "The Google". That’s right: no Google search page, no Gmail and (worst of all) no Google Reader, which I recently switched to. I can get to every other site I want to immediately, but not Google. I mentioned this situation on Twitter and some of my Twitter friends have responded that Google is working fine for them, so it must be localized to a Google domain near me (in Philadelphia).

I’m set for e-mail because I have my Gmail forwarded to a hosted Exchange server; without that setup, I’d be SOL for e-mail as well as RSS. I’m sure this is temporary and localized, but it only impresses upon me that while the web services are increasing in functionality, there’s always the danger of downtime. Not good….

Update @1:35 PM EST: It’s been roughly 2 hours. Pinging Google.com got me an IP address and I can use that in my browser (see below) to navigate to Google’s search page. Searches do work. Searching for and trying to get to Google services just times out. ARGH!

Google_by_ip

Update @ 3PM EST: since we could access Google from another PC on the same Internet connection, I rebooted and now have access to all Google services again. Nothing funny in the firewall log, no apparent reason for the issue. Very odd that it was just Google sites, but now it’s back. Lesson learned: have backup web services that offer similar functionality.

  1. Kevin,

    You are not alone, I am having issues with Gmail and RSS feeds from here in Seoul. It has been clunky for the last 24hours. The Gmail notifier does not always find the server and the feeds fail to load.
    The quality Of service is the Achilles heel of web based services. If Google cant get it right for 24/7 who can?

    Mel

    Share
  2. I’m in Pittsburgh right on the other side of the state and no problems so far at all with google, unless youre on a different dns but my ip with comcast is coming out of philly when i trace it, so this is kinda odd!

    Share
  3. Sounds like a DNS issue!
    Do you get the same problems going through your mobile data plan?

    S.

    Share
  4. This is why I find reliance on Web 2.0 apps so unnerving. I don’t mind having my important data online, as long as I can also access it locally (a la Exchange/ Server).

    Share
  5. Don’t know Steve, but I just tried accessing Google on another PC in the house that uses the same DSL connection. Works fine there. Odd that it’s limited to one machine that was working fine until this morning and even odder that Google sites are the only sites I can’t access. I’ll reboot this machine now to see what happens. Even if that resolves the issue, there’s still the bigger problem of future disruptions and our reliance on web services.

    Share
  6. John in Norway Monday, February 5, 2007

    Computers are funny things. Considering they’re basically logic circuits they can be very illogical.

    My desktop often does strange things. Sometimes when I try to use Media Player it tells me that I must log off and then back on again before it will work! It was working fine a few minutes before!

    It’s very inconvient to log off but I’ve found that if I pretend to switch user it allows me to use Media Player again! Where’s the logic in that? Don’t get me started on some of the other strange things it does.

    Share
  7. John in Norway Monday, February 5, 2007

    Computers are funny things. Considering they’re basically logic circuits they can be very illogical.

    My desktop often does strange things. Sometimes when I try to use Media Player it tells me that I must log off and then back on again before it will work! It was working fine a few minutes before!

    It’s very inconvient to log off but I’ve found that if I pretend to switch user it allows me to use Media Player again! Where’s the logic in that? Don’t get me started on some of the other strange things it does.

    Share
  8. Next time try checking your DNS resolution and each one of the returned IP addresses:
    $ nslookup http://www.google.com
    Server: xxx.xxx.xxx < - your local DNS server
    Address: 10.1.2.3

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: http://www.l.google.com
    Addresses: 64.233.167.104, 64.233.167.147, 64.233.167.99
    Aliases: http://www.google.com
    []‘s
    rw

    Share
  9. Bleaugh. I had a similar issue a while ago (I blogged about it), and even though I rebooted (IIRC), I still couldn’t access the site. My brother and husband both had full access to their Gmail accounts, which made me even more frustrated. Again, IIRC, this persisted basically the whole day, and when I finally had access to my account again, I decided to leave the Mail program on my Mac mini at home open all the time so that I automatically have my mail downloaded to a local machine daily. I don’t use a 3rd-party Exchange server (I don’t get nearly as much mail as you and James do!), so this is good enough.

    When my mail access went down, I just notified my contacts, but I didn’t really provide a secondary address. I have a lingering Yahoo e-mail address that has gone out of service from lack of use, but it’s such a PITA to have people e-mail me there since I never really use it anymore. Luckily the outage wasn’t permanent.

    Share
  10. The lesson learned isn’t backup web services…

    The lesson learned is to do some decent troubleshooting before jumping to conclusions. First step is to reboot… you run Windows after all. Second step, see if another PC has the same problem, thus narrowing it down to either your network, your ISP, or Google. As you discovered, the other PC worked fine, so either your local firewall/router or just your PC. Had neither ‘puter worked, then you see if you can get to anonymizer and have it hit Google. If that works, it ain’t Google… its your ISP. If anonymizer bombed too… then its probably your ISP.

    Of course, you run Windows… so it could that you got some nasty spyware that trojaned your DNS. Oftentimes, this isn’t seen til the internet stops working and in troubleshooting you wonder why an ifconfig /all shows DNS servers registered to Bank Of America in the Ukraine and you suddenly realize your DNS was hijacked for sending spam, only the hijacker’s DNS server was down.

    But the REAL lesson learned is to fully troubleshoot and isolate before posting what will end up being an arcane post that makes a normally smart crew look stupid. :)

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post