A proper working backup is one of the things Google can offer: if done quickly and losses are rare, then its a good service.
You're still a nutter if you don't keep your own copies of the valuable stuff however.
Google has blamed problems with a storage software update for a glitch that deleted an estimated 40,000 Gmail accounts. The snafu meant that affected users lost access to their archive of emails, contacts and IM chats. Initially Google said the glitch might have affected 0.29 per cent of its user base but this figure has …
"The online ad giant doesn't say this but the use of off offline backups means that its likely the most recent emails on affected accounts will be lost."
This is very possible; but an alternative explanation is that Google is run by Engineers and they only say things that are accurate (unlike Journalists who extrapolate at every opportunity).
If Google has mail inbox spools (a record of the mail as received @the gmail Mailbox Servers) that pre-date the backup tapes then they can replay these, filtering the data for he affected accounts, and nothing is (in theory) lost. At worst some mails were very slow to deliver.
"The good news is that email was never lost and we've restored access for many of those affected," well we needed to hear this. Now NSA and CIA should have a nice dream, being happy that user emails are always there. It was so sad to thing that those "lost" emails are not already on paper in someone else's office.
I can't imagine what their tape backup involves, very impressive I'm sure
Have been using Gmail Backup for a while to keep local copies of emails. Website is completely offline now and software hasn't been updated in years, which is a shame. Still works on Windows though
I would also speculate that GMail users often communicate with other GMail users so they could really take advantage of this by identifying common message fragments and attachments and only storing each of these once. Sort of like an app-aware de-dupe on steroids.
I wonder how realistic those figures are... It would not be in Google's favour to state whether paid subscriptions have been affected and if I was a paying gmail customer, I would keep my mouth shut and never disclose to my clients that I have lost their "confidential" mail.
Google don't really have a 'paid' email service; they have a free service up to 1Gb, and then you pay for additional storage. The gmail service itself remains the same; but the size of your mailbox is restricted when in freetard mode. (This additional paid for storage can be shared between all your Google online user services; gmail, picassa, etc. in any combination.. However some more commercial stuff, like Google Apps, has a separate pay model.)
Once they start charging for storage I would hope that backup is one of the services provided for the fees.
This clearly isn't a proper working backup, or at lest, it's not a proper working recovery. For a start, something this big should have come back from a disk snapshot, followed by playing the logs. Restoring from nearline tape (ie: in a robotised tape library), for something this big is a last resort, going to offline tape (ie: from an offsite store or shelf) is a total failure. Furthermore, their systems should be sized to get the data back much, much faster than this. If they are claiming 0.02% of their users have lost their mailboxes and it's taking in the order of days to get the data back, what happens if they lost everything?
This is a monumental storage cock up.
And, for those "you get what you pay for" comments: If I view their adverts and let them have all that metadata they want from me, I have paid for their service.
And I trust the to do the right thing.
This is a good deal.
TBH keeping huge amounts of old mail is a bad idea... best delete most of the old stuff and if its important save an off line copy to your PC.
But its a pain checking and deleting old email :-)
I think this crash was karmic payback, but Google isn't going to report that. I'm expecting worse as Google find even more EVIL on the dark side. Money, money, money!
I thin the real root of the problem is bad laws driving companies to evil. Ergo, I think we need to change the political system. Today's suggestion: Since the write-in vote has become a silly and meaningless option, we should add a new alternative voting option for a "kick me" vote. I'll spare you the technical details, but the basic idea is that voters who want to vote for politicians who are going to kick them AFTER they are sworn in will be able to get more immediate gratification without waiting. If enough of the masochistic voters get robotic kicks in the voting booth, thus eliminating their short-sighted votes, then maybe we'll get better political leadership?
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