Google says Gmail service disruption occurred due to 'faulty update'
Internet search giant Google has blamed the international disruption to Gmail this week on botched changes to software designed to spread the load of internet traffic across its global network of data centers, a report has said.
The brief failure struck on Monday afternoon, cutting off up to 170 million Gmail users around the world for 18 minutes.
Google issued an apology and said the problem had been traced to a bug in a routine update to its load balancing software.
The firm said that the bug falsely detected that some data centres were offline, and so triggered a failsafe mechanism designed to stop all Google services being cut off, the Telegraph reports.
"The Google load balancers have a failsafe mechanism to prevent this type of failure from causing Google and #65533;wide service degradation, and they continued to route user traffic," said Google's incident report.
"As a result, most Google services, such as Google Search, Maps, and AdWords, were unaffected. However, some services, including Gmail, that require specific data center information to efficiently route users' requests, experienced a partial outage," it added.
According to the paper, Google said the firm has corrected the bug in the load balancing software and were changing the way they will introduce updates in future in an effort to avoid similar problems.