After 3 days, Google Gmail still not fixed for everyone

Some users still without Gmail after software update disrupts service

Three days after Google's Gmail first suffered an outage, some users still don't have their service back.

Gmail, a cloud -based e-mail service, had an outage that started Sunday and affected about 40,000 users, according to Google. On Monday, a Google spokesman said the service would be back up for all users by Monday night.

So far, that's not the case.

On the company's Apps Status Dashboard, Google reported at 12:51 p.m. EST today that engineers are still working on the issue and service has been restored for "some users."

"We are making good progress in restoring accounts and expect the majority of affected accounts to be reinstated today," the company wrote. "Thanks for your patience."

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said restoring service is a big job, but an outage that lasts this long could push some users, especially enterprise users, to stop using the service.

"Google has a huge amount of backup data to sift through in order to find the right accounts to restore," Olds said. "They will also have to figure out just how up-to-date their backups are. And, of course, there is still the possibility of some data loss, even if it's just from the most recent few hours before the outage."

On Tuesday, Google reported that users' e-mails and contacts have not been lost and the company will be able to restore them to users' accounts.

"This is a great example of what I see as the downside to relying on the cloud for IT functions," Olds said. "For many people, e-mail is a mission-critical service and their cluttered in-boxes and sent-mail folders are often their most important database. For this to be down for a few days will make life difficult for a good many of these people, while an actual loss of this data would be a disaster."

The outage was first noted on the Apps Status Dashboard at 10:40 p.m. EST Sunday.

While many users complained that they were missing key parts of their Gmail service, including e-mail, chats, contacts, folders and settings, some reported that their accounts seemed to have been reset and appeared to be brand new.

Google announced Monday night that the Gmail outage was caused by a bug in a storage software update.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about cloud computing in Computerworld's Cloud Computing Topic Center.

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Sharon Gaudin

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