I’d wager most computer users have had those routine updates that turned out to make things worse than they were before. Earlier this week there was an outage for Google’s Gmail e-mail service that lasted 18 minutes. While 18 minutes isn’t that long in the scheme of things, the outage started at 9 AM PST and affected as much is 40% of all Gmail users.
Google is now talking about what caused the outage of its e-mail service. Google says that the problem was with the routine update that adversely affected its load-balancing software. That software is key for Google services and help split the workload between servers and Google.
When the update went wrong, it led some Google servers to believe that some of the data centers were unavailable. Google has nine data centers around the world and it estimates that between 8% and 40% of users were affected by the outage. Gmail wasn’t the only service affected either. Problems were noted with Google Drive, Google Chat, Google Calendar, and Google Play.
There were also issues noted with a combination of bugs and other problems in Google Sync and the Chrome browser that cost crashes for Chrome users. Google says that its monitoring software was aware of the problems by 9:06 AM and within 7 minutes it started rolling back to the previous version of the software that worked. Rollback was complete by 9:18 AM.