Google (GOOG) is fighting back after getting trashed on cloud computing. Specifically, the company is insisting that critics have been too harsh on warning companies to think long and hard before migrating mission-critical applications like email into the cloud.
If Google’s data is accurate, we have to admit, the case for moving email to Google’s cloud looks very good.
- Gmail’s latest outage affected fewer than 0.003% of Google Apps Premier Edition users
- No general Gmail failure since August 2008.
- Google is far more reliable than competitors offering “on-premises email.” Specifically, Gmail is better than crash-prone enterprise products like Novell’s (NOVL) GroupWise, IBM (IBM) Lotus, or (the worst) Microsoft (MSFT) Exchange.
Google even gives us graphs, and if the data is accurate (numbers from The Radicati Group), yes, Gmail is indeed the more reliable solution. We’d include two caveats: It’s unfair to include “planned downtime” into the comparison, because enterprises can schedule maintenance for nights and weekends, warning users in advance. And even if Gmail crashes less frequently, the crashes feels worse because the engineers working on it are all off-site and the users have no one to scream at.
We also get new service level agreements: 99.9% on 10-minute increments (compare to Amazon’s (AMZN) 99.95% on five-minute increments). The new terms apply to GMail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs, and Google Sites.
In the past we’ve been dubious about cloud computing for the enterprise. Specifically database-intensive systems like ERP or supply-chain management need long blocks of guaranteed uninterrupted processing time every single night. But for email, or calendar functions, where the occasional 90-second hiccup is no more than an inconvience, Google’s suite of cloud applications looks very good.