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Google unclogs its Postini

'System 7' mail delays sorted, says Chocolate Factory

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Google says it has resolved the email delivery problems that plagued its Postini message management service for several hours yesterday, telling customers that no data was lost.

The company has also acknowledged the problem affected users in Europe. Previously, the company had indicated it was a US-only issue.

According to reports from Reg readers and posts to Google's support forums, the email delays first hit users in the US and the UK during the early morning hours Pacific time. And Google tells us the problem was resolved by 2:45 am on Wednesday.

The company says the delays were limited to Postini's "System 7," one of several systems running the hosted email management service, which Google acquired in 2007. "We experienced an issue that caused significant delays to inbound mail delivery for users on System 7," reads a company statement posted to the Postini support panel. "Engineering and Operations have resolved the issue, and mail delivery rates have returned to normal. Engineering and Operations continue to closely monitor the situation."

The statement also says that all mail should reach its intended destination. "During this incident, incoming messages may have been deferred; no messages were bounced or deleted. Some sending mail servers may have returned a 'failed delivery' notification after four hours, but continued to try to resend deferred messages (up to five days for a typical configuration)." Outbound mail delivery and filtering, Google said, were not affected

Google will post a full "incident report" to the support forum within the next 48 business hours.

When we first asked Google about the prolonged Postini clog, the company described the issue as "causing a delay in mail delivery for some Postini customers in the US." But following reports from European Reg, a company spokesman now tells us: "We understand that a small number of European customers may have also been affected."

Many users also said they had difficulty contacting the company during the outage/delay. And at least one reader tells The Reg that he continued to experience problems with Postini's service today (Wednesday), after Google said it had resolved the problem. ®

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