Web services and reliability

It’s the second time in about a week that I don’t have access to Google Mail. There were two reasons I switched to GMail: I liked the interface and I could easily access from anywhere. Email is my lifeblood, and having it periodically go down is just not tenable.

It also makes me glad that I’m not relying on Google Calendar, at this point, and that my word processor is in my own machine. I think that there are a lot of advantages to web-centric software, but net-centricity–that is, designing software to exploit the availablility of the network–doesn’t have to rely on a small number of servers. Given that there are millions of people now using GMail, it seems that it would be worthwhile to exploit their access. That is, if you think of the GMail user-base, I figure you probably have several hundred thousand machines up at any one time, and if each of these was willing to cede a certain number of CPU cycles and a few hundred megs of hard-drive space, you would have something that would be a lot harder to bring down. Sure, it would still be worthwhile to have a server farm at google, and yes, there are a lot of issues that would need to be worked out, but maybe then I could be checking email right now.

On the upside, I guess I do need to do laundry.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 5/11/2006 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    you should be able to do laundry and email at the same time…. you do have two hands….

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