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Google Inc. is having problems keeping its uptime pledge to some paying customers of its Google Apps suite of hosted services, throwing into question the company's ability to offer guaranteed levels of application reliability.
Little over a month after introducing Google Apps' Premier version, which includes a 99.99 percent uptime commitment, Google is failing to meet that service level agreement (SLA) for an undetermined number of customers.
"Google has not met its SLA with me, that's correct," Grant Cummings, an IT professional from Ohio and Premier customer, wrote in an e-mail interview.
On Tuesday, Google Apps' Gmail service suffered significant availability problems that began in the morning (U.S. Eastern Time) and were declared officially solved for all users early Wednesday afternoon. The problems also affected Gmail users who aren't on Google Apps.
...which is significantly less than what apparently happened on Tuesday ("significant availability problems that began in the morning and were declared officially solved for all users early Wednesday afternoon").
"99.99 percent uptime commitment"
Am I the only one who now loses respect for a site/company when I see this phrase? It's become nothing but a pitiful cliche.
I think it depends on the service level agreement behind the commitment. The really bad ones say something like "we will rebate you an hour of your hosting fee for every hour we are down beyond the SLA." Brilliant! So if they're down for a whole month they refund that month's hosting fee. Cue slow clapping.
On the other hand, a commitment to e.g. automatically refund the whole of that month's hosting fee if the SLA level is broken is stronger, and if penalties are offered too (e.g. 1 month of free hosting per hour of downtime), well then it has real teeth.
[edited by: Edwin at 12:51 am (utc) on Mar. 31, 2007]
Regarding SLAs, the only worthwhile contract to back it is one which offers unlimited compensation for all losses attributable to exceeding the SLA.
Premier gets you more space and no ads and it's $50/year. What do you expect for $50/year? If your email is that important, expect to be paying 10 times that.
I have a bigger issue with my Google hosted Email (paid customer on one domain). It's not the downtime of few minutes. It's the fact that my emails are being "tagged" as spam by many corporate spam filters, probably because they are being routed through google servers instead of mydomain.com. Being tagged as Spam really hurts the bottemline.
You can stop this from happening by adding a SPF record to your dns server. Add this v=spf1 a include:aspmx.googlemail.com ~all to your dns server as a TXT record.
When you send a mail from yourdomain.com through gmail.com to yourclient.com, yourclient.com checks with yourdomain.com to see if google.com is authorised to send mails on your behalf. The above TXT record states that aspx.googlemail.com (Google's mail server) is authorised to send mails on your behalf. The a is self referential i.e states that yourdomain.com is authorised to send mail on behalf of yourdomain.com. And the ~all states that in case someotherdomain.com (or could be your SMTP server in your laptop) sends mail then do a soft fail. Soft fail usually means the mails ends up in the junk or spam folder based on what rules are configured on yourclient.com. spf1 means Sender Policy Framework (i guess 1 stands for version 1)
You can go to [openspf.org...] (the official website) for more info.
Hope this helps.