Google’s Gmail service has bounced back from a multi-hour outage on Feb. 24, but questions over what went wrong are thus far unanswered, PC World reports. What’s more, the outage marked the sixth time in the last eight months that Gmail users have experienced some sort of problem, raising new questions about the reliability of software services hosted by a technology provider instead of on-site. The Google eMail service was offline from about 4:30 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. EST–which is during business hours for users in Europe. Google says it is now "investigating the root cause" of the issue. "We know that for many of you, this disrupted your working day. We’re really sorry about this, and we did do everything to restore access as soon as we could," Gmail Site Reliability Manager Acacio Cruz stated in the Official Google Blog. Despite a number of recent outages, Gmail does appear to have a reasonable amount of uptime, all considered. Following last fall’s series of outages, a Google representative told the IDG News Service that Gmail suffers only about 10 to 15 minutes of downtime per month, giving it an average uptime rate of 99.9 percent. He noted that, according to some independent reports, on-premise eMail systems tend to see twice the amount of offline time–anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, on average, every 30 days…

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