Feeds

Google blames Gmail outage on data centre collapse

Domino effect crashes through the cloud

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.