Google gets Postini running; but some U.S. users still furious

Trouble with Google messaging tools caused a day of long and frustrating e-mail delays

After Postini troubles yesterday and early today delayed the receipt of e-mail messages by some users for up to 20 hours, Google reported this morning that its engineers have the messaging tools back to normal again.

Google disclosed on its site at 6 a.m. EDT today that the Postini problems that caused the e-mail delivery delays have been fixed.

The e-mail delivery delays stirred up a lot of frustration among users of e-mail systems that use the Postini tools, many of whom took to the Twitter social network to complain about the problem and about what they called Google's lack of updates about what was going on and of support for struggling users.

"Postini is not taking calls, is their call center operating?" asked one user on Twitter. "It is ridiculous and totally unacceptable that Google cannot have someone to be on call to deal with Postini related issues when required," tweeted another user.

And yet another user noted this morning, "Postini still gets a big fat FAIL for today, I just got an e-mail that is over 20-hours-old."

Jay Nancarrow, a Google spokesman, told Computerworld today that he didn't know what caused the Postini problem, but said that the company plans release an incident report that includes a cause within 48 business hours.

"During this incident, incoming messages may have been deferred; no messages were bounced or deleted," Google wrote on its Help Forum. "Some sending mail servers may have returned a 'failed delivery' notification after four hours, but continued to try to resend deferred messages (up to five days for a typical configuration). Outbound mail delivery and filtering performed as normal during this time. We sincerely apologize for the impact to your organization and users."

In an e-mail to Computerworld yesterday, Google spokesman Andrew Kovacs said that the Postini problem did not affect all U.S. users of the tools, which support multiple e-mail systems, including Google's hosted Gmail product,

Google purchased Postini Inc., a maker of message security, archiving, encryption and policy enforcement tools, about two years ago.

The Postini problem follows a series of problems that have interrupted or shut down Gmail and other Google Apps services.

Last month, Google News, the company's news aggregation site, crashed and Gmail experienced a day of intermittent disruptions. Users of multiple Google applications also endured well-publicized service crashes in both February and May.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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