Google has confirmed that the company has started restoring data back to the Gmail user accounts which were wiped off after a bug infected Gmail storage software, though the process appears to be taking longer than expected.
In a blog post, Google's Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar wrote that the company was using the Gmail data stored in offline tapes.
Google explained that it makes several copies of the user data stored in Gmail but the bug had managed to infect multiple copies. Therefore, the company had turned to the offline tapes in order to restore the data. Google said that the data had been restored from the tapes and it was working hard to make it available on user accounts as fast as it could.
“Since the tapes are offline, they’re protected from such software bugs. But restoring data from them also takes longer than transferring your requests to another data center, which is why it’s taken us hours to get the email back instead of milliseconds,” Treynor said.
Access to data has already been restored for some users but those with large amount of data in their in-boxes would have to wait for a few more hours. The most recent update from Google suggests the process is taking longer than anticipated:
Update (3/1 12:20 PM PST): Data for the remaining 0.012% of affected users has been successfully restored from tapes and is now being processed.
“Though it may take longer than we originally expected, we're making good progress and things should be back to normal for everyone soon,” a representative claimed.
Google promised to post a full incident report on its Google Apps Dashboard as soon as the issue was resolved.