Posted April 26, 2007 9:47 am by with 2 comments

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There’s nothing quite like the helpless feeling you get when a service you use goes down for “maintenance” and you have no clue when it will go back online. I get that sinking feeling whenever my hosting company takes my server offline – it’s frustrating not being able to have control of something outsourced to another company.

If you plan on switching your email, docs, calendar, etc., to Google, you should rehearse exactly how you’ll handle that sickening feeling. According to CNET, Google is warning that users of its free Gmail service will likely see outages…

“Users of all Web services may have periodic trouble with access, and as we make updates to improve and enhance Gmail, some users may see error messages and experience short periods of inaccessibility,” a Google spokesman said in a statement Wednesday. “These errors are neither persistent nor pervasive, but we take all issues very seriously and resolve them as quickly as possible. We encourage these users to contact the Gmail Support team, who can investigate any problems. We’re continually listening to feedback from our users and working to improve the product.”

You could argue that at least they’re giving you advance warning, but that’s like the nurse telling you that she’s about to stick you with a needle – it still hurts when it happens.

  • It’s not so bad. I’ve migrated most of my stuff to Google including calendar and a bunch of email addresses but I still use desktop apps.

    For example, my desktop calendar uses Google calendar feeds (you can find them under settings) so even if gcal goes down I know what I have to do.

    As for email? Well, if it goes down for 15 minutes or 1/2 hour is that really a bad thing? 🙂

    Docs I still find kinda slow so I don’t do much online there yet but I’m finding more and more of my docs starting to show up there. But again, it’s nothing critical.

    I guess that’s my point – if is crucial that you check your email/documents/calendar every 5-10 minutes then don’t used Google or any online system for that matter. Because there’s bound to be outages. but if you can survive for a while then web apps are definitely the way to go.

  • Looks like they are having trouble with the personal homepage service as well. It also seems they don’t have a clue what has happened. Here is the link