Anatomy of an outage

By all accounts, yesterdays GMail outage was pretty big. It just so happens that I ranked in the first few results in the SERPs for keywords related to the outage. The traffic influx was huge.

Media Temple (the host) uses a system called GPUs or Grid Processing Units to give you a good idea of how much CPU, I/O, and disk space you are using on their system. Yesterdays spike is fairly obvious.

Mint, from, gave me my first clue as to what was going on. While I like the depth of Google Analytics, the real time stats from my Mint installation are priceless. normally gets about 100 visitors per day. At the peak of the outage, I was getting about 23 per minute. That’s awesome, but hopefully there isn’t another repeat anytime soon.

Olympic Costs?

My wife wondered what hosting the modern Olympics cost a nation. My GoogleFu has initially failed me, but I think I’ve found some rough estimates. If anybody can fill in the details or find better estimates, please leave me a comment.

  • 2008 Beijing: $42 billion
  • 2006 Turino: ?
  • 2004 Athens: $15 billion
  • 2002 Salt Lake City: $1.3 billion
  • 2000 Sydney: $3.4 billion
  • 1998 Nagano: ?
  • 1996 Atlanta: $1.8 billion
  • 1994 Lillehammer: ?
  • 1992 Barcelona: ?
  • 1992 Albertville: ?

Another major gMail 502 outage

Earlier this week I saw about 300 visits over a 24 hour period from people searching for solutions to the error message they were getting when logging into Gmail. I have seen over 800 in the last hour. Sure enough, my gmail is out too with a Temporary Error (502). POP3 seems to be working. Following my survival guide, I checked the Gmail google group. The issue for today, 11 August 2008, is a known issue with the web interface, they acknowledge that POP3 and IMAP are still working.

Here is to all of you and myself, let us hope it comes back up soon.

Update 1: Mine is back up after about an hour. Anybody else?

Update 2: 2,000+ hits in an hour because of this. Media Temple server holding up nicely.

Previous outages


Other coverage

Google getting smarter

I did a quick search today on ‘medal count‘ to try and find out where the US stands on medals for the Olympic games. I expected to find the official Olympics site or some other coverage of the games in the search results, only to have to drill down from there. Imagine my surprise when Google gave me the answer right in the search results. Very cool.