Google uses backup tapes to restore Gmail service
March 2, 2011
In response to a recent incident that wiped the data from the accounts of several thousands of Gmail users, Google says it is relying on data backup tapes to restore access to its cloud-based email service as quickly as possible.
In a recent post on the company's blog, Google vice president of engineering and site reliability Ben Treynor assured its some 40,000 affected Gmail users their messages, chats and other data were not lost, because it is all stored on backup tapes.
According to Google, the failure was caused by a software update that contained bugs. Treynor noted that backup tapes are not threatened by the bugs, because they operate offline.
"To protect your information from these unusual bugs, we also back it up to tape," Treynor wrote. "Since the tapes are offline, they’re protected from such software bugs."
While Google apologized for the time it took to restore access, the company said the backup tapes allowed it to fix the problem a few days after the incident occurred.
Many companies that rely on backup tapes to store important information also use media management software, which enables them to locate these storage tapes quickly in the event of an IT-related incident.