Google blames Gmail outage on data centre collapse
Domino effect crashes through the cloud
Google has apologised for yesterday’s major Gmail meltdown after some of its data centres in Europe failed to cope with a routine maintenance event.
The company’s web-based email service was flat as a pancake for about three hours yesterday morning as Mountain View engineers attempted to fix the problem, which affected vast swathes of the firm’s 113m strong global user base.
Businesses and individuals were unable to gain access to their email accounts via the internet until around 12:30 GMT on Shrove Tuesday.
“This morning, there was a routine maintenance event in one of our European data centers," said Google’s site reliability boss Acacio Cruz yesterday. "This typically causes no disruption because accounts are simply served out of another data centre.
“Unexpected side effects of some new code that tries to keep data geographically close to its owner caused another data centre in Europe to become overloaded, and that caused cascading problems from one data center to another. It took us about an hour to get it all back under control.”
Google said it had fixed the bugs and also shared the pain with its users.
“We run Google on Gmail, so outages like this affect us the same way they affect you. We always investigate the root causes of rare outages like this one, so we can prevent similar problems in the future,” said Cruz.
Many complained on the Google Apps and Gmail forums about the lengthy outage, while others worked around the problem by accessing their email using Imap on a desktop client or through their iPhone or other handset apps.
Premier Edition Google Apps customers such as The Guardian and Salesforce have been promised at least 99.9 per cent Gmail uptime per month. If Google fails to deliver on the terms of its service level agreement it has to cough up a penalty.
That translates as a commitment to no more than 45 minutes of downtime a month - so presumably, affected businesses will be expecting to see a cheque in the post.
In fact Google is offering paying customers who cough up $50 per user, per year for the service, 15 days free credit, according to Associated Press. ®
isp with exchange
there are plenty of exchange setups at ISPs around the world.
several in europe and at least one in the uk, its a different beast entirely to corporate exchange setups but do the job very well.
Outages are to be expected
Heck I mean I do get the occational disconnect from google mail but that's normally due to me downloading an legal iso via torrent and that sucks up all the bandwidth leaving none for gmail. As a web interface based mail client it's not bad, I see Hotmail has taken on board some of the points from gmail like "mark this e-mail as read" which wasn't there before.
I seem to remember way, way back the whole of the AT&T network failing because of 1 line of code caused a cascade failure of the whole network..
Shit happens, the guys at Mountain View got stuck in, found the problem and fixed it as soon as they could.
When things run fine everything in the garden is lovely, yet when something goes wrong everyone gets the knives out..
1) If it's free don't complain
2) If you paid for it, this outage bites just a bit but it was just the web face that went down.
I do wonder how well an Exchange server in the open, i.e tuck away in the Head Office with everyone connected into it via LAN / WAN / VPN would hold up genuinely.
Sure G-mail is behind a firewall but in comparasion they are like a Bank Vault where as most Exchange servers are fort knox, not accessable unless you have several keys, right IP, your IP is on the "okay to allow through list" on the firewall, your account has remote access allowed on it, your username is right, your password is right and yeah it's not "3pm on a wet tuesday afternoon" (some random event)..
I've seen worse web mail interfaces,
Yahoo, hotmail - they've improved
Orange - thank god I've got POP..
The Web is not the Internet
"Businesses and individuals were unable to gain access to their email accounts via the internet"
There was no access via the WEB, most accounts were still accessible via the Internet using IMAP or POP3.