Google apologizes for yesterday's lengthy Gmail outage
The response to an apparent Gmail issue seems mixed here at BetaNews -- some claim to have experienced email delays, while others noticed nothing. But, regardless of how real or wide-spread the problem was, a problem did exist and Google would like to explain how it happened in an effort to retain trust in its email service.
"We’d like to start by apologizing -- we realize that our users rely on Gmail to be always available and always fast, and for several hours we didn’t deliver. We have analyzed what happened, and we’ll tell you about it", begins Sabrina Farmer, Senior Site Reliability Engineering Manager for Gmail.
In a nutshell, Google attributes the problem to a double failure of the network, though claims the problems were coincidental and not related to one another. "The two network failures were unrelated, but in combination they reduced Gmail’s capacity to deliver messages to users", was all the search giant would explain. An inquiry from BetaNews to Google regarding more specific details has not been answered as of this writing.
The problems were detected at 5:54am PST on September 23rd and Google claims to have had them resolved by 4pm PST, which is still a large chunk of time to be without email, especially for business customers.
The company promises that it is "taking steps to ensure that there is sufficient network capacity, including backup capacity for Gmail, even in the event of a rare dual network failure. We also plan to make changes to make Gmail message delivery more resilient to a network capacity shortfall in the unlikely event that one occurs in the future. Finally, we’re updating our internal practices so that we can more quickly and effectively respond to network issues. We’ll be working on all of these improvements and more over the next few weeks".
Google promises 99.9-percent uptime and claims this glitch did not affect that statistic. It also refrained from pointing out the recent shortcomings of rival Outlook.com, which experienced issues as well.
Cloud-based services are never going to be completely without problems, but today's more robust services manage to come fairly close on most days.
Did you notice any problems with Gmail?
Update: Google has replied, but given no further clarification -- "The information in the post is what we can share at the moment".