I wasn't even aware they still used tape backups.
This particular Gmail outage is proving to be particularly bad, at least for the .02% of Gmail users affected. However, it appears the end in sight for Google. In a post on the Gmail Blog Google (GOOG) reveals that it has had to go to tape backups and expect to finish restoring accounts in the coming hours.
To protect your information from these unusual bugs, we also back it up to tape. 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.
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