Google's Gmail e-mail system went down for .08 percent of users Feb. 27. The company disabled some accounts as it works to restore access.
Google confirmed that an e-mail outage left over 120,000 of its more than
150 million Gmail users without e-mail, contacts, labels and other content over
Google's Gmail Help message boards began lighting up with pleas for help
beginning Feb. 27, when one victim wrote
: " I have lost ALL
on my emails/folders etc. from gmail. Why would this happen? How can I restore
The complainant noted that when he accessed his Gmail account, everything
was missing save four new e-mails that came in during the night.
the problem and responded that some accounts
were being disabled while it was performing repairs on its e-mail system.
A trip to the Google Apps status dashboard
reveals that Google began
investigating the issue at 1:36 a.m. EST
In a follow-up note at 10:40 p.m. EST,
Google's engineering team noted that the bug affected less than .08 percent of
its Gmail users:
"Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we
expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time
frame is an estimate and may change. ... Google engineers are working to
restore full access. Affected users will be temporarily unable to sign in while
we repair their accounts."
Google's official press statement is:
"Today a very small number of users are having difficulty accessing
their Gmail accounts, and in some cases once they're in, trouble viewing
e-mails. This is affecting less than .08% of our Gmail user base, and we've already
fixed the problem for some individuals. Our engineers are working as quickly as
possible and we hope to have everything back to normal soon. We're very sorry
for the inconvenience to our customers."
Google later tweeted
that .02 percent of Gmail users, not .08 percent as it originally reported, were affected. That bumps the number of affected users down significantly.
Gmail outages are an annual issue for Google, which provides e-mail for
millions of consumers and businesses via its sprawling cloud computing cluster
of servers and storage arrays.
However, after some nerve-wracking outages both in 2008
, 2010 was a pretty good year for Gmail in terms of uptime.
In 2010, Gmail delivered
uptime of 99.984 percent for business and consumer
users. That translates to 7 minutes of downtime per month over the last year,
or small delays of a few seconds.
That success rate led Google to remove the clause that allows for scheduled
downtime for Google Apps and pledge to give customers credit for any downtime.