GOOGLE'S GMAIL, the whole web-based shebang, crashed yesterday at lunchtime PDT, leaving tens of millions of Gmail Pro and non-Pro users gmail-less, bereft and miserable.
True, as a free service, you shouldn't expect blissful perfection, but Gmail for Business was also affected. A very large number of businesses - about 1.75 million according to Google's own figures - rely on Gmail to do their work as part of Google Apps, the $50-per-user-per-year subscription web-based application suite.
For a rather long 100 minutes - Google's number - Gmail was out for the count, leaving companies mail-less and users tweeting furiously on, er... Twitter, which seems to have become the impromptu soapbox for the disillusioned masses.
The crash was bad enough to get Google's PR people up off their tushies and doing a rain dance online.
Just a few hours later, the company had diagnosed the problem, fixed it, and set everything back in order.
Google's Site Reliability Czar, Ben Treynor, owned up to the problem saying, "Today's outage was a Big Deal, and we're treating it as such."
Treynor added that the outage had been caused by a miscalculation, as a few servers were taken offline for upgrades and that caused a disturbance in the force. The resulting overload sent routers crashing, so people trying to read their personal emails over lunch break were royally stuck.
Google promised it would never do it again.
Apparently IMAP/POP-based users were unaffected by the outage, which would have been nice to know at the time because it would have given businesses some options to sort out their problems.
One COO sighed, "The Google outage yesterday was an inconvenience for my business as it meant we had to configure alternate mail clients like Outlook, which took time, and then we were each working independently rather than all accessing a single web interface to share work."
This raises the issue that far too many businesses have naively migrated their essential systems to online, cloud-based resources without considering business impacts if those go down for any reason, and therefore don't have backups in place to continue business operations in the event of such an outage. µ
Much a (dil)do about nothing
Neither the time nor the face
The tiny tweaks are coming thick and fast now
Gitting more secure