Friday, September 25, 2009

Gmail Craps Out - Again

It seems that the illustrious upstart, Gmail, has done it again - it has gone offline.  Well, not exactly, totally offline  - just its contacts-management portion.  For all intents and purposes one could say that there was no email possible since this is the portion of the programme that auto completes the addresses.  I mean, who memorizes email addresses nowadays, huh?

So, without the contacts reference list, millions of subscribers cried, moaned and gnashed their teeth, bewailing the fact that Micrsoft Exchange NEVER goes offline and why can't Gmail be set up more like that.  Now, Microsoft Exchange has been around for virtually eons.  There is redundancy up and out the wazoo in that system while Gmail is employing the cloud computing concept.

Gmail is still a fledgling attempt, comparatively and is almost frantic in its efforts to attain commercial clients in order to keep their infrastructure viable.  The detractors, and there's always a large group of them, claim that if Google has managed to keep their global octopus of a search engine going without breakdown, then why can't the Gmail section borrow from that technology?  This is where the debate regarding cloud computing versus the standard back-office type of server farm gets heated.  Proponents of the cloud computing school maintain that this system is far more reliable than a bunch of geeks sitting around, patrolling the grid once in a while.  While the cloud computing concept may work very well for the Bit Torrent, Skype or the SETI set ups, the almost mission-critical nature of Gmail should have a few contingency plans with a more dependable framework.

It looks like the geeks have won out so far, haven't they   ?


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