Google Apologizes for Monday's Gmail Delays

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-09-25 Print this article Print

In reaction to the email delays, Google responded quickly and set to work on the problems, said Maycock. "I think they have the right controls in place. I think they could put better controls in place but it's not economically feasible. This was a once in a blue moon sort of thing."

A positive step that came out of the situation, he said, is that Google has vowed to prevent similar issues in the future. "They did say they plan to make changes in order to make Gmail more resilient, and that they are taking it more seriously and are going to improve it."

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, told eWEEK in an email reply that Gmail "is a free service and free services are managed as cost centers, which means they are provisioned cheaply and Google is known for being incredibly frugal. The fact that they had a dual failure (primary and redundant systems) suggests the redundant system just couldn't handle the load when the primary failed and that one, likely both, of the network paths were inadequate. Users need to realize that if they are getting their email for free, not only is it being scanned but it likely will be under resourced and more likely to experience failures."

In the long run, wrote Enderle, "Google is managing to a bottom line and isn't really motivated to heavily fund this service since extra expenditures just reduce their bottom line."

Google is different from many other companies in that it doesn't typically use its free services as entry points into paid services that generate revenue, he wrote. "I expect they will have more outages as a result," wrote Enderle. "In the end, you mostly get what you pay for. If you want cheap, don't expect great service or reliability, and with Google especially, don't expect privacy either."

The company is constantly adding new features and services to its Gmail offering. In July, Google returned its outbound voice calling services to its Hangouts feature in Gmail, Google+ and through the Chrome browser extension after it was temporarily removed in May when Hangouts was updated. The missing voice calling feature cropped up quickly after the new Hangouts launch when user complaints posted on Google's blogs and Google+ pages caused the company to respond and promise the reintroduction of the service in the future.

Also in May, Google unveiled a feature that allowed users who have Google Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photo accounts to put all their files in a unified place, rather than having to maintain separate storage areas depending on what kinds of files were being stored.

Google also recently gave Gmail users the ability to send money to others by sending "cash" in an email message. The new capability became possible because Google integrated its Google Wallet payment services with Gmail, allowing users to safely and securely send up to $10,000 per transaction to another person.

Google's Gmail turned 9 years old in April, having started on April 1, 2004.


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