Google’s Gmail Outage in Perspective

Tuesday Morning, from about 4:00 am to 7:00 am EST, many users could not access Gmail through the web interface. For Google Apps Premier Edition users, the impact appears to have been only the web access — IMAP access was working from our iPhones and we could still generate calendar updates and invites, site invites and update notices, and google doc sharing invites.

From some in the “blog-o-sphere”, this outage is the reason why Cloud Computing will fail. In our view, this is why cloud computing is viable. Most businesses could not recover from a major email outage, with no loss of data, in three hours.

Google has already completed a post mortem and has published the results here.

Additionally, they have responded by creating an Apps Status Dashboard that provides real time status indicators for all applications in the Google Apps Premier Edition suite.

In our opinion. Outages will always happen. That Google was able to respond quickly, restore service, fix the underlying issue (actual cause), and improve processes and communications, is a clear indication that the market demand for perfection will drive continuous improvements in the service. As a side note, Google has automatically credited all effected users with 15 days of services, exceeding what is required in the Service Level Agreement.