Last week, users of Google Mail experienced issues as the service was either down or available only intermittently. Between 1-2 p.m. Eastern Time last Tuesday, some Gmail users experienced either some downtime or were completely unable to access the service.1
Later that day, Google officially stated that, “We’ve determined this issue affected less than 10 present of the Google Mail users who attempted to access their accounts during the affected timeframe. While we have resolved this issue with Google Mail, it’s possible that some users may experience message delays because affected accounts weren’t available to receive messages. The messages will be successfully delivered after account access is restored.”2
The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling!
Countless Gmail users went to Twitter to complain about the downtime and lost productivity (which is ironic, as they lost even more by spending time tweeting their anger about the outage). You would have thought the world had ended with as many Tweets that went out and the vast coverage a less than one hour outage received in the tech world. Google has over 350 million users worldwide,3 so this means that approximately 35 million people couldn’t use Gmail for about an hour! The horror, the horror!
Obviously, downtime for your email service or website is not something that should be taken lightly, especially in an economic climate where every sale is important. A customer who doesn’t receive an email from you or one who cannot access your website to order your product could mean they go to a competitor instead. There is nothing more frustrating than lost business from factors you cannot control.
Give Me 100% Uptime Then!
No reputable email or website host wants to ever experience downtime within its network, and the ultimate goal is to provide all customers with 100% uptime. However, in reality, factors beyond even the most qualified and trained network teams’ skill set cannot stop or prevent server downtime from occurring.
Why? Because sometimes hard drives and routers fail, storms cause power failures, network congestion or connection issues occur with bandwidth providers…and that’s not considering scheduled outages when operating systems and software require updates to keep everything working properly.
What’s important then is how your website and email host handles potential downtime, because unfortunately, it’s going to happen at some point. If it can happen to Google, it can and will happen to the company you trust to host your business’ website and email. So what should you look for in a host in regards to service uptime?
- Never trust a host that offers you a 100% percent uptime guarantee. This is purely a marketing trick or an outright lie as no one can realistic provide this (not even Google).
- If they do offer an uptime guarantee, make sure you read the fine print. Often, hosts do not start counting downtime until you report it to them. Or their money-back offer pays based on the percentage of downtime across an entire billing cycle so you receive at most a few dollars, if even that, as credit towards your next bill.
- Location does matter. Do you know where your host’s datacenter is located? Is it near an area that experiences blizzards or hurricanes? These can cause power spikes and outages that can significantly affect service uptime, and thus your company’s website and email.
The Small Business Authority prides ourself on our ability to provide our customers the utmost in reliability, performance, and security.4 Your website and email are hosted within our state-of-the-art network located in Scottsdale, Arizona, a geographical area that offers a highly stable climate that is virtually safe from any natural disaster or serious weather threats.5
The SBA’s datacenter is also fully supported by our in-house, highly knowledgeable 24/7/365 support team that strives to minimizes any and all downtime when it does happen. To learn more about our quality website and email hosting, visit http://webservices.thesba.com or call 1-855-284-3722.
For more information, visit:
1. Gawker: Gmail is Down, Everyone Go Home
2. Google Mail: Service Details
3. The Next Web: Gmail Closes in on Hotmail with 350 MM Active Users
4. The Small Business Authority: Web Services
5. The Small Business Authority: Network Infrastructure