• Google Explains Gmail Data Disaster, Promises to Restore All Accounts

    The Gmail meltdown reported yesterday proved to be less spread that Google initially estimated, but is still ongoing. Google provided a more detailed explanation of the problem and said it is still working on recovering the data of those affected. Some accounts have already been restored, but many still have at least several hours to wait.

    "Imagine the sinking feeling of logging in to your Gmail account and finding it empty. That’s what happened to 0.02% of Gmail users yesterday, and we’re very sorry," Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar at Google, wrote.

    "The good news is that email was never lost and we’ve restored access for many of those affected. Though it may take longer than we originally expected, we're making good progress and things should be back to normal for everyone soon," he explained.

    The problem stemmed from a rather mundane storage software update. The update produced a bug which, in some cases, led to data loss at several data centers.

    Google has a very solid data redundancy policy and infrastructure in place to prevent data loss at one location to affect users. However, it turned out that even this was not enough as the issue affected all copies of the data.

    But Google has something to fall back on even in this type of worst-case scenario, it also backs up data on tape. With all of Google's faith and boasting about its cloud and technological prowess, it still relies on decades old technology in the end.

    Of course, not doing so would have been irresponsible of Google, losing all emails for tens of thousands of users is not a mistake you recover from easily.

    Unfortunately, recovering the backed up data from the tapes takes a lot of time. Some accounts have been restored, but 0.012 percent are still affected. Google estimates that all accounts should be restored within 10 hours. Still, this means that tens of thousands of users will be left without access to their email accounts for two straight days.

    Source: Softpedia