As you may know, overwhelming would be an understatement to the response received by Google‘s new social networking service Google+. So overwhelming was the response that apparently, Google+ ran out of disk space, resulting in a torrent of alert notifications to users.
Vic Gundotra, SVP of Social [networking] at Google posted the following on his Google+ profile, “For about 80 minutes we ran out of disk space on the service that keeps track of notifications. Hence our system continued to try sending notifications. Over, and over again. Yikes“.
Apologising for the spam-like alert notifications, he added that Google did not expect to hit the threshold so fast, claiming that they underestimated the response to this new service. Indeed, it is surprising to learn that Google suffered such an outage, given the fact that it is known to have an infrastructure capable of handling such a situation.
This should ring the alarm bells for rival Facebook, which currently has over 750 million members. Also worth noting is that this was just a “field trial” in which a limited number of people could participate. A full-fledged service requiring no invitation to join would have resulted in catastrophic consequences. Nevertheless, Google+ is working to address the situation according to another post by the SVP. Let’s hope they do not use our Gmail space for that purpose.