Posts Tagged ‘Google Gmail’

Excellent Communication Around Gmail Outage

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Small businesses require inexpensive contingency to deal with the inevitable failures of third-party service providers. In Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Businesses (Wiley, second edition paperback version, 2009), I recommended redundant e-mail accounts which allow you to send, if not receive messages others have sent you, from one service when the other one is down. This advice was put to the test when Google’s Gmail web mail service went down for 1.5 hours. Ironically, the company took down a few servers for routine maintenance, but the request routers, servers that direct traffic to Gmail servers, could not handle the increased load. While the e-mails servers remained operational, the Gmail web interface was not, frustrating the user. So while mail was inaccessible for a short while, the messages remained in the user’s queues. You have to commend Google for their open communications around the mishap. Ben Treynor, VP of Engineering, immediately provided an explanation and an apology. Gmail remains 99.9% available to all users and the company is always working to improve reliability.