I just posted yesterday about the dangers of ditching IT for Google, and the Big G makes the point better than I ever could: GMail, the 3rd most popular web e-mail service, went down today for a while, with spotty communication as to why and little information in terms of problem resolution.
Now, GMail and Google’s other services likely have better uptime than many IT organizations, but as the author of TechCrunch’s article noted, Googles Guerrillas were having a tough time:
I use Apps For Domain for everything – my contacts, my email, my todo list, my chat, my documents and more recently, my phone. As soon as it went down, I noticed in less than a second. I am now completely stuck, after a few months of being impressed by how I was able to run my entire life on Google.
It is not just the frontend that is down, but also the backend IMAP and POP servers (Update: they are up, but slow). This is a huge fail for Google, considering how admired they are for all the technology they have built internally to scale out their applications.
Most IT organizations would at least provide prioritization of business critical services, along with a trouble ticketing system to assess what is down where. With GMail, on the rare occasion it does go down, it goes down in a very big way.