Prolonged GMail outage angers business users

Exasperated systems administrators took to search and online application provider Google’s user forums after its web-based email service GMail went down for 24 hours.

One user, an admin from a US education authority, described his boss’s anger at the unavailability of email: Since yesterday around at least 4pm my CEO cannot access his mail,” his post submitted Thursday morning read. “This is not a temporary problem if it lasts this long. It is frustrating to not be able to expedite these issues. I have to speak with the boss again and he’s po’d. This is considered a mission critical issue here.”

“This outage has hit us pretty hard,” said another poster. “We’ve been out of email for 24 hours and now business is suffering.”

Other users, representing paying customers of Google’s business applications service complained about the company’s uncommunicative response to the outage. “How is it possible to get Google staff to answer support emails?” asked one user.

However, Google did acknowledge the outage, which it said only affected a limited number of users and provided an estimated time of rectification. The disruption was remedied in the early hours of this morning.

"We know how important Gmail is to our users, so we take issues like this very seriously, and we apologise for the inconvenience," said a company representative on the discussion boards.

The disruption recalls an ealier moment in the history of web applications. In 2005, online CRM provider and software-as-a-service pioneer suffered a six-hour outage, denying users access to critical applications.

The ensuing outrage drove to establish, an area of its website where users can monitor the company’s server performance. Following this week’s outage, Google may now face calls for a similar service to improve transparency.

Further reading

The dangers of cloud computing
Report calls for businesses to wake up to the security challenges of using Internet-based computing services

‘Windows Cloud’ OS to be revealed next month
Meanwhile, Amazon adds Windows Server support to its cloud computing offerings

Is Google Chrome an OS?
Newly launched browser from search giant could point to an operating system for software-as-a-service applications

Find more stories in the Business Applications and SOA & Development Briefing Rooms

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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