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Chris Bliss

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Google Docs and the Apocalypse: Why Losing 24 Minutes Isn’t the End of Time

Last week Google Docs experienced 24 minutes of downtime, leaving users and businesses without access to their documents. According to TechCrunch, a popular technology news blog, the outage “raised concerns about the reliability involved with storing mission-critical documents in the cloud.” Scary stuff, this. Can’t we trust Google? Can’t we trust the cloud? Is the world ending?

We don’t mean to downplay the importance of reliability (we’re the first to recommend backup systems) but we also think a sense of perspective is important. Can you imagine how amazing the world of enterprise would have been five years ago if we could have worried over 24 minutes of downtime? The fact that cloud solutions are so trusted, reliable, and consistent, and that the IT world is concerned with 24 minutes reveals just how powerful the cloud is (and how far it has come).

Seriously people. Google Docs is (mostly) free, 99.9% reliable, and it runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s amazing. Add to that the company’s transparency in dealing with the issue (it was a memory management bug) and legacy alternatives are a non-option. The cloud ain’t perfect but it sure beats… everything else.

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.