Google restoring Gmail accounts from backup

There's something to be said about a good backup solution, and Google obviously take it seriously after posting that it has started to restore all the "lost" emails and settings from a backup, hours after users began complaining about their accounts being wiped of all data.

The company blamed a software bug for the incident and said just 0.02% of Gmail customers were affected, initially it had claimed as much as .29% were affected and then revised it down to .08% of its 170 million users.

"I know what some of you are thinking: how could this happen if we have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centres?" asked Ben Treynor, Google's site reliability czar, in the firm's official Gmail blog.

"Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That's what happened here," he added.

He noted that Google backs up data on offline tapes, which are protected from software bugs. "But restoring data from them takes longer than transferring your requests to another data center, which is why it's taken us hours to get the e-mail back instead of milliseconds," he said.

"Thanks for bearing with us as we fix this, and sorry again for the scare," he concluded.

A detailed incident report has also been submitted to the Apps Status Dashboard, and Treynor also noted, "email sent to you between 6:00 PM PST on February 27 and 2:00 PM PST on February 28 was likely not delivered to your mailbox, and the senders would have received a notification that their messages weren’t delivered"

Google Docs and Calendar, were unaffected, but users will be happy to know that their data was carefully looked after.

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