In a post over on the Gmail blog, Google is trying to reassure users affected by yesterday’s Gmail debacle. We don’t know just how many but Google says 0.02% of its Gmail user-base had their accounts wiped clean of any emails and in some cases contacts.
According to the search giant it was a software bug introduced to their storage software that caused mass-deletion of files. Although Google has several backups across multiple storage locations, they also have tape backups of Gmail data. In their blog post they actually hint that in some cases they are having to revert to the tape backups causing an inevitable slowdown.
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.
Google assures users they will have their accounts back soon, but it mght take longer than previously expected. We don’t have a definitive time-frame as you might expect, but if you’re one of the unfortunate people affected you can find the latest updates from this web page.