So What Really Caused That Gmail Failure?

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Last week’s Gmail outage has given rise to a lot of speculation on the problems with cloud services, mail services – and, according to some, harmed Google’s reputation. But it turns out to be all due to a software program, according to the Financial Times.

It all happened during routine maintenance on Tuesday at a European data center. During the procedure data was moved to a back-up center. However, that data shift caused a program to trigger that redirected mail to the center nearest users. It was meant to speed up services. Instead, with all the extra data, it caused a domino overload effect, which caused the data centers to be overwhelmed and fail.

It was the first global failure of Gmail since August, and led Nelson Mattos, vice-president of engineering, to say:

“We’re not perfect, we make mistakes.”