Google is the master of cloud-based services with a track record most would envy for uptime, user numbers, and speed of access. But yesterday a chink in the armor appeared as 500,000 or so Gmail accounts went offline.
Not having access to your account for a few hours may seem like a minor inconvenience, but the extent of the problem seems to be much worse. When access was returned to some accounts they were empty. All traces of e-mails, attachments, chat logs, and contacts were gone. Some users even got the “Welcome to Gmail” message as if they were new to the service.
Google is working on the issue, but as of yet there has been no solution. The last status update on the Apps Status Dashboard for Gmail read:
Our team is continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by February 28, 2011 11:00:00 AM UTC with more information about this problem. Thank you for your patience.This is the second issue to happen with one of the Google Apps recently. Last Wednesday Google Calendar suddenly lost all its events for some users. At the time Google quoted 0.125% of users were affected, although it seemed like a lot more from the mounting complaints that day. This time round 0.29% of Gmail users are having issues. It’s also interesting to note that when Calendar events disappeared Gmail was also having issues and blocking some users’ access. Could this be related to that problem?
If an example were needed as to why you should backup your data regularly for cloud-based services, this is surely it.
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