News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
World Wide Web
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Gmail Outage Raises Doubts About Cloud Computing
Gmail Outage Raises Doubts About Cloud Computing

By Richard Koman
August 12, 2008 9:25AM

    Bookmark and Share
A major outage for Google's Gmail service locked up e-mail for several hours. Google reacted quickly and apologized, but the Gmail failure, along with problems for Apple, Inc.'s MobileMe service and Amazon's S3 storage grid, raised concerns about relying on cloud computing for enterprises. Google is reviewing the Gmail problems.

Google's Gmail service suffered a major outage Monday afternoon, with many users locked out of their e-mail for several hours. The company confirmed the outage in an unusual apology on its Gmail blog. Titled "We feel your pain and we're sorry," the blog post said the problem was caused by a "temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly."

"We heard loud and clear today how much people care about their Gmail accounts," Gmail product manager Todd Jackson wrote. "We followed all the e-mails to our support team and user group, we fielded phone calls from Google Apps customers and friends, and we saw the many Twitter posts. (We also heard from plenty of Googlers, who use Gmail for company e-mail.) We never take for granted the commitment we've made to running an e-mail service that you can count on."

Internal Reviews

In addition to fixing the contacts system, Google is "conducting a full review of what went wrong and moving quickly to update our internal systems and procedures accordingly," Jackson wrote. He conceded that it's unusual for the company to discuss quality-of-service issues publicly, "but we wanted to make an exception in this case since so many people were impacted."

"Again, we're sorry," the post concluded.

The outage comes as Google hopes to ramp up its Google Apps offering to small and midsize businesses and calls into question whether the promise of cloud computing is being oversold. For instance, Google and SADA Systems, a technology consultancy, are planning a series of sales presentations titled "Google Apps and The Big Switch: Don't Worry About I.T."

Too Early for Cloud?

Google reacted swiftly to the outage, restoring service within a few hours, which should give potential customers a certain level of confidence in Google as a service provider, said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, in an e-mail. "Their quick response shows their commitment to keep Gmail up and running as smoothly as possible, which should give users some assurance that Google is highly committed to delivering a powerful e-mail system that can be used by business users and consumers alike."

Even so, the problem clearly is a hurdle for Google's attempts to move into the enterprise, Bajarin said. "This glitch has to be kept in the minds of enterprise users that are looking at Gmail use within large companies," he said. "Google needs to continue to provide the highest level of customer service and quality of service if they have any hopes of attracting large business customers."

The outage is an indictment not just of Google's services but of the general proposition that businesses can rely on the cloud, according to blogger Larry Dignan. In recent weeks, Apple's MobileMe service proved to be a disaster and Amazon's S3 storage gird suffered substantial problems. "These growing pains, which are more evident each day that we rely more on service-based software efforts, indicate that you can't really trust the cloud at this juncture. It's too early and providers are learning as they go," Dignan wrote.

While the idea of outsourcing IT to Google is appealing, the reality is that companies -- even very small companies -- need redundant systems. "Given that our company relies on Google's Gmail and GTalk service, our operations came to a standstill this afternoon," blogger Om Malik wrote on his site. "We aren't a large company, but the losses are very real, especially in productivity."

Tell Us What You Think

Name: is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.

 World Wide Web
1.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
2.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
3.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers
4.   Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead
5.   Social Media Haters Speak Up

Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
Bug reportedly reveals ID of users
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.

NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.