Feeds

Google blames Gmail outage on data centre collapse

Domino effect crashes through the cloud

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.