Jabberwocky

Gmail downtime

Posted in cloud by elisehuard on February 24, 2009

GMail was down for a couple of hours today. This generated a public outcry, or at least some serious pissed-offness.

Gmail is a fantastic webmail service – I use it myself – but you should read the terms of service, especially this bit:
4.3 As part of this continuing innovation, you acknowledge and agree that Google may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you. You may stop using the Services at any time. You do not need to specifically inform Google when you stop using the Services.

aka we’ll be down whenever we want. This is the price for having Gmail for free – there’s no agreements around quality of service. And Google is big enough not to care what happens to your paltry mailbox.

Is this a reason to stop using Gmail ? Not where I’m concerned. There was a similar situation a few months ago, and this made me take the following measures:

  • using the pop interface of Gmail, i regularly back up ALL my google email (I don’t clean up very often)
  • i synchronize my google contacts with my mac address book – when i have no mac I’ll find another solution, they have a good API (same with my google calendar btw)
  • i have more than one email address – I’ve no taste for maintaining my own mail server, but there are plenty of other options around.
  • i use a catch-all mail with my own domain name for gmail – so if gmail goes down indefinitely i just rerout my addresses to some other service

And so if Gmail goes down again, i have the slight discomfort of losing touch for a few hours at worst, but I’m not blocked.

That’s SaaS for you – limited control – better come to terms with it.

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6 Responses

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  1. Paul Cobbaut said, on February 24, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    public outcry? just because you have to fire up a pop/imap client ? Gmail worked fine with those protocols, calendar and reader were okay…only the webinterface was down. Which didn’t bother me much.

  2. elise said, on February 24, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    ok, twitter outcry then 🙂

  3. Jan Van Buggenhout said, on February 27, 2009 at 2:47 am

    “AKA we’ll be down whenever we want. This is the price for having Gmail for free – there’s no agreements around quality of service. And Google is big enough not to care what happens to your paltry mailbox.”

    I wouldn’t read it that way. I would rather read it in an “covering up our asses” way. 🙂

  4. elise said, on February 27, 2009 at 8:23 am

    how does what i say contradict what you say ? 🙂

  5. Mike said, on March 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

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    Making Money $150 An Hour

  6. Mini server | Views on Life said, on October 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    […] MIGHT have been initiated against the service? Thats just publishing anything! :/ I did appreciate Elise Huard’s comments on the matter today. We take GMail for granted even though there are NO guarantees whatsoever.. :s No Comments […]


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