Are You Sure Google Apps Are Down?
Google has been having a rough go of keeping their cloud services up and running smoothly for all users lately. Today is just another example of the sporadic nature of Google Apps “up time” as of late.
Google Drive is down, this too shall. Although, would be nice if Google’s 3rd shift janitor updated Dashboard google.com/appsstatus#hl=…
— Ben Rimes (@techsavvyed) April 17, 2013
Besides the general headache of lost instructional time that an important educational cloud-based server being down causes, Google’s customer service (or lack thereof) isn’t as robust as many would like it to be. That leaves many Google Apps users to take to Twitter and other social networks just to figure out what’s going on. In my mind, that’s pretty crummy, and leads to all sorts of back and forth speculation as to the cause. Some individuals experience no outages whatsoever, while others have sporadic use of some of their apps.
Enter the Google Apps Status Dashboard. It’s not the best tool in the world for keeping up with service outages in real time, but at least it’s a place to start. While it did take at least 45 minutes from the time outages started appearing this morning and the first “problem” was indicated on the Apps Status Dashboard, you can rest assured that if there’s any hint of an orange or pink indicator light on one of the apps, there’s certainly a problem with other apps in Google’s stable.
Granted, this gives little comfort to those of us savvy enough to br prowling Twitter for updates on the situation.
@kjarrett The Apps Status Dashboard is such a joke. It will be updated at 3pm today after all is cleared up.
— Daniel Rezac (@drezac) April 17, 2013
I’m with Daniel on this one, Google could REALLY step up their reporting of outages and real time status updates of Google Apps. However, there are many educators and technical folks in school districts that are completely in the dark when Google Apps go down. Either they aren’t connected on Twitter, or have other re-occuring problems in their district with bandwidth, filtering, or some other internet related malady. For them, the Google Apps Status Dashboard is at least a starting place to make sure it’s “not just them” when Google’s services go down. From there, it’s wise to head over to Twitter to check out the situation. And then complain a bit (or a lot) to Google that offering up more timely information on what’s happening would be appreciated.
If anyone else has a starting place for checking on Google’s outages, I’d love to know! Until then, someone get back to work on getting those servers back up and running!
— David Prindle (@dprindle) April 17, 2013
David Prindle shared an excellent website that I hadn’t seen before called Down Right Now. It appears to list more than just Googles services, including Facebook, Tumblr, Skype and many other social and cloud services. This is certainly a great “go to” for future outages across a number of sites. While it doesn’t seem to offer the exact details as to the nature of each outage (you would still have to visit the service provider’s site for that level of information), it does have the great advantage of individual internet users being able to report outages.