In a post on the Official Gmail Blog, the company explained in some detail what actually happened: in essence, some request rerouters â€“ servers which direct web queries to the appropriate Gmail server for response â€“ became overloaded and brought the whole email, system to a crashing halt.
It meant that for almost two hours, you could not access your Gmail account via the web. At all. Serious issues for many people, whether your Gmail is business or personal.
I have many Gmail accounts, some of which I use a great deal. Recently, I restructured my domain email via Gmail via a Google Apps account.
Yet I neither noticed nor experienced any interruption in email. At all. Why? Because I donâ€™t do my email via the web interface, the browser. Instead, I bring in all email from all the accounts I use into Outlook 2007 via POP.
[â€¦] IMAP/POP access and mail processing continued to work normally because these requests don’t use the same routers.
Now, Iâ€™m not going to get smug about this as I saw that information as a bonus: when I first heard about the outage yesterday, I fully expected my email to be down, too.
But what it tells me is that I still cannot place my faith in cloud computing when a service as fundamental as email is out for the count, especially for an accidental-type reason as opposed to something really severe.
Iâ€™ll use the cloud of course. But not solely: I still have more faith in local content and offline backups.