It's the third time in the past two weeks that Gmail users have been locked out of their accounts due to the "502 Server Error" login problem.
In the middle of last week, an undetermined number of individual and Apps Gmail users were hit, and it took Google about 15 hours to restore the service for them.
Then on Monday of this week the problem resurfaced. A broad group of Gmail users, including organizations that use it as part of the fee-based Premier version of Google Apps, were affected.
Now the problem is back, according to multiple reports from users. It's not clear how many people have been affected by this latest problem, but those who are detailing their troubles in the discussion forums describe the outages as prolonged.
"Still down. 24 hours and counting. This ceased to be funny long ago. Any of the other users here have any recommendations for another e-mail provider? It's time to start voting with our feet and leaving for greener pastures," wrote a user identified as Howardf42 on Friday morning in a thread devoted to the 502 problem in the Google Apps discussion forum.
Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, and the company hasn't acknowledged this latest outage in any of the forums or company blogs so far.
Google is a major proponent of the idea of delivering applications and computing services via the Internet, popularly known as "cloud computing."
However,when vendors experience technical problems in their data centers and the performance and availability of the applications is affected, IT and business managers feel helpless, because they can do little to restore the services, while their end-users clamor for solutions.