When things go wrong

For about and hour this morning, Google reader wasn’t working properly. I’m surprised to that techmeme hasn’t picked this up. I don’t know how many subscribers google reader has but “half” would still be a lot of people by my finger in the air estimation and it seems that no one thinks it blog worthy!

The feed reader just didn’t work the way it should have. In fact in a really scary way (you know, the type of scary when you just hit “yes” when prompted with the “are you sure you want to delete), there was just no feeds.  I immediately thought , “hell i’ve got no recent backup of me feeds”, my fault to be sure. But when you think about the time and effort it takes to build up a feed list that was quite an appalling thought.  

This all points to a couple of the major drawbacks of SaaS. The first issues is availability, it was just plain annoying that in my allotted reader time, i couldn’t do it (incidentally i can’t get the Google gears offline app to work either). I was going to bang on about this particular topic more, but have been subjected to some downtime in our inhouse SAP system, for longer than an hour so really the point is moot. Systems go down.   

The more gut wrenching issue for me is the leap of faith required to be certain that the provider isn’t going to loose your data. Now Google says

“the good news is that no data was actually lost, it was just temporarily inaccessible. Google's systems store data redundantly to minimize the chance of anything becoming permanently lost.”

And i guess in my case that’s true. Kudos to them, they look to have the infrastructure and processes in place to be able to minimise (but not eliminate) my fears.  

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