Some of Google's 150 million-plus Gmail users saw their e-mail go down for five days. Tough to believe in a time of robust cloud computing, but outages happen, analysts note.
When Google revealed that some Gmail users were finding
their messages, labels and other inbox content missing Feb. 27, the clock began
ticking on the company's cloud computing credibility.
Among the most pertinent questions were how soon would
the company restore access to the .08 percent of users it claimed at the time
were affected and what was the cause?
Gmail users, which number some 150 million or more people,
from Google Feb. 28 that actually .02 percent of users, or roughly, 30,000
people, were affected. This included a tiny percentage of customers who pay $50 a user, per year for Google Apps for Business.
Google March 1
that a storage software update accidentally made e-mail messages and
other data disappear. No e-mail was lost in the outage because Google backs up
the data to tapes, which are offline.
Google feverishly worked on restoring access and diligently reported every update on its Google Apps Status Dashboard
Wednesday night, when everyone "except a very small handful of edge cases
(i.e., huge mailboxes that were still processing data)" had their e-mail
Google March 3 noted in its
dashboard that Gmail should be back to normal for the vast majority of people
affected by this issue. Those still experiencing the outage could e-mail the
company for help.
"We understand this is an inconvenience for users
and obviously not an ideal situation, but we worked as hard and fast as we
could to get everything up and running as quickly as we can - and keep folks
informed as we did so," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK.
Google's transparency on its dashboard is commendable, as
is its responsiveness in the Gmail restoration process. But this may be of
small consolation to the "handful" of Gmail users who had their accounts
disabled for as much as 5 days while Google worked on the bug.