Let me be the first to say, I was affected by the outage today. For about 4 hours.
My email was completely dead. I could have fired up Outlook, but I chose not to.
I’ve been on Google’s web applications since starting in 2002 with GMail. Calendar, Docs, Spreadsheets as soon as they came out. I barely use my My Documents folder anymore.
I read the news sites tonight, and there’s all this hype about “This is a perfect reason why companies won’t switch to hosted apps – it’s downtime and unreliability.”
Let’s quickly run some numbers. 8 years of service is 70,128 hours. My GMail ONLY was down for say worst case, 5 hours today. That’s 99.9928% uptime.
If you’re not familiar with up-time ratings, here’s a crash course. The vast, overwhelming majority of web hosting providers only rate their uptime to 99% or maybe 99.9%. Over 8 years, that would be 701 hours and 70.1 hours, respectively. I’d say that’s pretty damn good.
Think about your home computer and how often you reboot it. Or it crashes. Or you install some updates or new software and it needs a restart. Or the power goes out. Or it’s down for a half-day (or a weekend) for a major upgrade). Or, God forbid, hardware failure. We’ve all experienced it, and that’s all downtime.
Yeah, it was inconveniencing today, but the time Google has saved me over 8 years centralizing all my documents, email, spreadsheets, etc far outweighs the 5 hours of outage. I’ve had several computer and power failures, and being able to just stand up and move to another computer or location and resume my work has been a lifesaver at times.