Here’s why Gmail was disrupted for 50 percent of its users on Monday

For those who faced considerable delays in sending and receiving emails from Gmail on Monday, Google has apologized and offered an explanation. Google explained that it had been affected by a ‘rare’ network failure, which affected about 50 percent of Gmail users across the globe.

“The message delivery delays were triggered by a dual network failure,” Sabrina Farmer, Senior Site Reliability Engineering Manager for Gmail wrote in a statement. “This is a very rare event in which two separate, redundant network paths both stop working at the same time.”

Though the network failures were unrelated, the combination caused Gmail messages to start piling up. This caused delays in delivery of mails and in many cases the attachments too failed to download. Google shared some stats saying around 71 percent of mails had no delays, but the remaining 29 percent faced a delay of around 2.6 seconds. In rare instances, around 1.5 percent of mails were delayed by more than two hours.

As we type this, Google is working on rectifying the situation and is also steeling itself from facing such a network failures in the future. “We also plan to make changes to make Gmail message delivery more resilient to a network capacity shortfall in the unlikely event that one occurs in the future,” Farmer added. “Finally, we’re updating our internal practices so that we can more quickly and effectively respond to network issues.”

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