Update: At 6:30pm (EST), over one hour after the first reports of Gmail going down, A Google rep announced that Google has finally figured out the issue and it should be fixed shortly. For more information, see the update below.
Gmail has been offline for thousands, if not millions, of users since about 5:10pm (EST). It is now 50 minutes later and the system-wide outage is still impacting most Gmail users.
A Google Groups thread has official word from Google that they are working on it. But from the Google representatives updates, it seems like this rep really has no idea how widespread the issue may be. 20 minutes after the outage began, 5:31 pm, Google said they are away of 502 errors. Then at 5:47 pm, that Google rep said they are still "investigating" the issues but some people may be able to "access their accounts via IMAP, POP access, and iGoogle." Some are but most are not, in fact, those some are likely just caching that email data. At 6:01pm, I received an email via Google Apps, but my Gmail account on the web interface is still offline. I suspect one just trickled in.
Looking at Twitter Search returns hundreds of "Gmail is down" messages from Twitter users every few seconds. Looking at one section of the Gmail Help Group returns hundreds of posts from disgruntled and concerned Gmail users. TechCrunch has reported on the issue, and I also posted a story at Search Engine Land.
I was not going to post it here, but the system outage seems like it is truly impacting all Gmail users and it has almost been a full hour.
In any event, I suspect it will be fixed soon. Gmail, I am sure, has backups of emails and I suspect all those emails will begin to trickle in slowly, once it gets back up.
Forum discussion at Gmail Help Group.
Update: At 6:10pm (EST), the Google representative posted an update:
Update - we have confirmed that affected users may also be able to access their account with Gmail's basic HTML view. You can access this via: http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=html
Summary - users are receiving 502 errors when attempting to access their accounts via the web interface. There are a few ways that you may still be able access your account: 1. basic HTML view (http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=html) 1. IMAP access 2. POP access 3. iGoogle
I really think the issue is much larger then a display issue.
Update 6:30pm (EST): The Google rep said Google has finally "pinpointed" the issue.
Update - engineers have pinpointed the issue causing the 502 errors and it looks as if users should start to regain normal functioning of their account. Thanks for being patient while we worked to sort out this problem.
One of my accounts is now working, but another is not. But now, at 6:38pm (EST), all my Gmail accounts (web, imap, etc.) are now working.