Postmortem of GitLab Database Outage of January 31

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On January 31st 2017, we experienced a major service outage for one of our products, the online service GitLab.com. The outage was caused by an accidental removal of data from our primary database server.

This incident caused the GitLab.com service to be unavailable for many hours. We also lost some production data that we were eventually unable to recover. Specifically, we lost modifications to database data such as projects, comments, user accounts, issues and snippets, that took place between 17:20 and 00:00 UTC on January 31. Our best estimate is that it affected roughly 5,000 projects, 5,000 comments and 700 new user accounts. Code repositories or wikis hosted on GitLab.com were unavailable during the outage, but were not affected by the data loss. GitLab Enterprise customers, GitHost customers, and self-hosted GitLab CE users were not affected by the outage, or the data loss.

Losing production data is unacceptable. To ensure this does not happen again we’re working on multiple improvements to our operations & recovery procedures for GitLab.com. In this article we’ll look at what went wrong, what we did to recover, and what we’ll do to prevent this from happening in the future.

Read more at GitLab