It's been already two days since someone unleashed the inbox-eating leprechaun at Google, which resulted in 150.000 really angry GMail users. If you’re one of them, and for last two days you have been staring at a blank space where your e-mails used to be, don’t fret. Google has some top minds working on the problem, including the self-proclaimed Site Reliability Czar. According to the latest update, most of the accounts have already been restored, with the last 0.012% stuck in the processing stage.
We still know little about the cause of the incident. Apparently, it was all due to the failed software upgrade. Google employs a long list of precautions, including many backups in multiple data centers, but not even the extreme data redundancy helped. Ben Treynor, a Google vice president, wrote: "Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That's what happened here. Some copies of mail were deleted, and we've been hard at work over the last 30 hours getting it back."
Only the offline, old-fashioned tape backups saved the day. If they were not in place as the last line of defense, data loss would be permanent.
Now that the dust is settled, it might be a good time to sum this incident up. It’s hard not to think about it as a stab in the back of the cloud computing. So far experts would firmly stand by the idea that cloud data centers are safe. Keep in mind though, that not so long ago they would also put their confidence in dot-coms, virtual currency and Microsoft Bob … Right now, various companies encourage you to leave your hard-drive content, media or e-mail up in the cloud. Even the army recently decided that after all they DO like cloud computing.
But are the data clouds safe? Was the Google crisis only an isolated incident, or is it a sign that the more complicated the system is, the more it’s prone to failure?
All in all, even data clouds can't be trusted. The only way to be sure is to backup your precious digital property yourself. And put a carbon copy in a reliable location, preferably in an underground vault on the North Pole.
About this article
Add your comment, speak your mindPersonal attacks are NOT allowed
Please read our comment policy