back to article Google Apps contracts promise no 'scheduled downtime'

Google has updated the contracts for its Google Apps suite so that they no longer make allowances for scheduled maintenance, and that any downtime - no matter how small - will be counted and applied to the customer's agreement. Mountain View announced the change to its Google Apps service level aggreements (SLAs) with a Friday …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a chance

    Key difference between Google and Exchange: EU data compliance. None with Google, but I guess that's a trivial detail..

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    No scheduled downtime?

    Rather like promising that our planes will be more reliable since they are never taken out for maintenance - any promises on UNscheduled downtime ?

    1. Il Midga di Macaroni

      You didn't read the article!

      They can promise no scheduled downtime *to the end user* because they have redundancy across multiple data centres. Anyone who knows anything about networking has looked at Google's operation purely because it's a brilliantly elegant way of taking reliability past that seemingly impossible 99.95% barrier.

      For my operations, the only outages I'm afraid of are the ones that originate in the browser - since Google Docs is Java heavy, and most implementations of Java are leaky in the extreme, it's possible for my people to get major problems if they don't close and reopen the browser every few hours. If Mozilla, Opera, Safari, Chrome et al could lick that problem they'd have done humanity a real service.

      Beer because it's Saturday out here in Australia.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Java heavy?

        I've never noticed any Java in Google Docs. Maybe you mean Javascript, which has nothing to do with Java?

  3. Doug Glass

    Re: no 'scheduled downtime'

    Yep, it'll crash and burn often enough to have time to do any maintenance that could have been scheduled.

  4. Anomalous Cowturd

    Microsoft's online offering, BPOS.

    Big Pile Of Shit?

    Or is it just me?

    1. Robert E A Harvey


      did anyone else have the chilli?

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Quite Impressive

    What I think is impressive, isn't their promise of zero downtime, but the fact that they've added millions of users and added many new features without downtime.

    What other service/IT system do you know of that could achieve this ?

    Say what you want about the "Evil Google", but they've got some *real* smart cookies working for them.

    1. streaky Silver badge


      It's easy. Anybody can do it, the problem is nobody wants to do it. When you friendly bank or supermarket goes offline for maintenance, ask yourself why they're completely clueless rather that considering it normal.

      Update a percentage of servers at a time maybe? There's nothing complex about this. Google do it with more than one DC and all of a sudden you have an app that will never go down short of the world ending.

    2. Mark 65

      @A Non e-mouse

      "Say what you want about the "Evil Google", but they've got some *real* smart cookies working for them."

      Are they the ones with the near infinite lifespan that sit on your hard drive?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: What other service/IT system do you know of that could achieve this ?

      It's not that difficult - assuming you want to pay, but normally the cost of extra hardware, design and testing of smooth switchovers is just not worth it.

  6. gimbal

    Please, it goes in this order: First STFU, *then* RTFA

    ....*then*, optionally, comment. Thanks.

    Hey just kidding. Go ahead and kneejerk away...even when the article actually conveys useful information essentially rendering the comment irrelevant. We need those kind of comments, for their simply distracting qualities, it's really quite useful.

    and Happy New Year!

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    $0.10 refund

    As I read this article, Google is not promising zero downtime. They're just lowering the threshold for downtime compensation. True zero downtime is possible but it comes with some costs and limitations that don't compare well with "almost zero" downtime.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All downtime scheduled?

    If you want to carry a DDOS attack on their server, you'll now have to book a time slot in advance.

  9. Antti Roppola

    The computing utility

    This is certainly moving towards how computing resources as a utility is supposed to work.

    Now I'm thinking about how even well understood utilities can fail, and the general pattern of less frequent outages with much more widespread impact.

    Will we inevitably one day see the Google equivalent of an un-pronouncable Icelandic volcano shutting down more than just a couple of planes? What's the plan then?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ not a chance

    Google Apps email complies with the US/EU Safe Harbor data directive, Google it ;)

    Does your IT dept's implementation of Exchange comply? Not flaming or anything, just asking.

  11. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Who's their ISP?

    Surely this kind of offer is only interesting to those who already have contracts with several ISPs, carefully chosen so that they use different sets of cables running into the office (which of course has a whole-office UPS for when some tired JCB driver decides to plug your mains supply into your internet pipe.

    Such people exist, but probably not in large numbers. I suspect this is mostly about bragging rights.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is 3 9s?

    A promise of 3 9s availability - 99.9% uptime - is a number. What does it mean. Your old tip and ring telephone system operates at 5-6 9s! 100 to 1000 times better! better than 3 min/yr to .3min/yr downtime! The downtime of telephony is also pareto - this is the bad news! A few systems will have long downtime, e.g., an incident lasting a few hours while the remaining systems have absolutely no downtime. I don't know what google looks like. Based on outages you read about there are a lot of customers affected for a long time to give the lousy 3 9s. So one might assess that 3 9s is pretty bad!

  13. Anonymous Coward
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