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Gmail was down yesterday for two and a half hours. This led to no end
of worry for those of us in Europe where this was in the middle of the
morning although, many North/South Americans might not have even been
awake, or even noticed.

Google gave an explanation today:
"Unexpected side effects of some new code that tries to keep data
geographically close to its owner caused another data center in Europe
to become overloaded, and that caused cascading problems from one data
center to another. It took us about an hour to get it all back under

It reminds me of the power outages in the U.S. in 2005 and other
cascading network effects (and particularly the great examples in
Duncan Watts' six degrees). But I found it a bit surprising that this
would actually happen to Google - I thought everyone was considering
their systems as networks these days!

So I thought I'd share (and commiserate with other gmail users who
discovered the lack of fault tolerance in their own media network).

Take care,

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