October 29, 2012, 10:48 AM — Google will give refunds to paid subscribers of App Engine, its Web application development and hosting service, which suffered a partial outage on Friday.
During a four-hour stretch, about 50% of requests to App Engine applications failed, so Google will credit all paid applications for 10% of their October usage, the company said in a blog post.
The problem started when traffic routers in one data center got overloaded, and an attempt to reset them backfired. A broader overload spread to all App Engine data centers and caused widespread problems in many hosted applications. However, no application data was lost.
"In response to this incident, we have increased our traffic routing capacity and adjusted our configuration to reduce the possibility of another cascading failure. Multiple projects have been in progress to allow us to further scale our traffic routers, reducing the likelihood of cascading failures in the future," wrote Peter S. Magnusson, Google App Engine Engineering Director.
App Engine suffered recurrent performance problems in the second half of 2010, but the service had been stable since a revamping of its datastore in early 2011.
Hundreds of thousands of developers and companies use App Engine, including Best Buy and Met Office, the U.K.'s national weather forecasting service.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.