Google Calendar outage an excuse for missing meetings today?

by Bharat Suneja reports today:

Users relying on Google Calendar have good excuse for missing meetings Thursday a.m., as company scrambles to fix widespread outage.

The outage, reported by Google on its Google Apps Dashboard at 8:30 AM, is still being investigated as I write.

Another reminder of how disruptive “cloud-only” services can be for an organization. And yet another reason to love Microsoft Outlook, and having a local/cached copy of your data.

Of course, other cloud-based services, including Microsoft’s Exchange Online, could face similar outages, just as your on-premise messaging services and servers can. This is not an indictment of cloud-based services, but an attempt to draw attention towards one of the inherent risks with such services.

It’s been a long-running debate — are cloud-based services more prone to outages than your on-premise services? There’s no definitive answer to that— it depends on the service provider, service architecture, and operational practices. One wouldn’t be too off the mark to assume service providers running highly scalable services have greatly superior architecture and operational practices than most organizations running on-premise services, but Google’s scorecard on this front has’t been terribly exciting (read Gmail Outages And Cloud Availability). updated its report @10:11 AM:

Update 10:11 a.m. PDT: Google says the problem should be resolved for all users, but didn’t provide any details on what happened. “We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

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