Google+ disk space issue causes notification overload

Things have gotten off to an interesting start for Google+, the not-so-small search company’s efforts to take on half of the internet and be the go-to location for social stuff. While social networking punditry is best left to the “experts”, we at developerFusion had admired the service for its technical prowess out of the box – no embarrassing Fail Whales here.

However, it hasn’t been all smooth technical sailing for the upstart social service. Barraged by under-the-radar invitations from Europeans busy figuring out workarounds to Mountain View’s anti-invite mechanisms while the US West Coast slept, it seems Google slightly underestimated both the number of users and volume of notifications that they would be dispatching. So much so, that during one nearly hour and a half-long episode over the weekend, there was a barrage of e-mail notifications dispatched over and over to unwitting early adopters of the social platform.

“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” wrote Vic Gundotra, Google’s head of social, in a public Google+ post. “Over, and over again. Yikes.”

“Please accept our apologies for the spam we caused this [Saturday US time] afternoon.”

Since the outage the service has continued to scale effectively, with more users coming on board through an invitation system that has been revealed. We’ll keep an eye out for any more interesting titbits from behind the scenes of Google+.

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