[LINK] 500,000 Gmail accounts go offline

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Wed Mar 2 09:23:06 AEDT 2011

Rather than focus on Gmail, I think some basic facts need to be repeated.

Any email provider, any infrastructure, can and will fail, including ones that you operate yourself. There is no such thing as perfection. No matter where your email is served from, you need to have a plan in place for when it doesn't work. And, as Johann points out, you probably need to have something in your business projections to cover losses due to outages, just as a retailer includes an allocation to cover "shrinkage" [theft].

Huge players like Google get massive media coverage when a small percentage of users experience an outage because a small percentage still represents a big number, in this case half a million users it would seem. Conversely, the fact that today, right now, thousands of small and SOHO businesses are experiencing email outages because their server crashed, or their laptop was stolen or its hard drive failed, or their internet link went down because they forgot to provide their ISP with enough notice when moving house -- all that goes unreported so we forget that it happens.

All this has precisely nothing to do with whether it's "in the cloud" or not. But it's everything to do with having backup plans in place.

I know I haven't answered about any of the specific points about Google, but I don't think this is a Google-specific issue. I thin it's more that if people want five-nines reliability then they need to understand that that costs money and will generally mean planning ahead.


Stilgherrian http://stilgherrian.com/
Internet, IT and Media Consulting, Sydney, Australia
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