Thursday, December 4, 2008

When does 9 mins = 0 mins? When it's Google Apps SLA

TechCrunch covered this. In a worst-case-scenario nutshell, Google Apps can be down 90% of the time and be considered 100% up, if it is "up" for at least one minute (or to be pedantic, instant) for every nine minutes of "down."

Commentors at TechCrunch surmise that is not a real-world scenario where a web site can be up for one minute then down for nine for a persistent amount of time.

I wish that were true. I recalled working for during the original dot com bubble. Version 1.0 of that site was written against Vignette CMS. The cost for that was rumored to be around $1M per processor (that was the talk around the office) but we had piles of money to burn (and give away).

The application was so unstable that, by the time I left, we had about 24 web servers in the cluster, and each was rebooted every 7 minutes. The fine folks at Vignette gave us that "work around" with a straight face. My brother was still with iWon and helped them move to open-source Tcl.

Since then, I've made sure I don't even hold any mutual funds that have Vignette stock.

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