11 Dec 2012, Dan Worth, V3
Google has apologised for a series of outages which affected its hugely popular Drive storage platform and Gmail service during Monday afternoon.
The incident only last around 30 minutes but left thousands of users without access to key services, underlying the reliance placed on the firm's offerings.
The firm confirmed it had fixed the problems by around 6pm GMT and issued a statement on its Apps Status page apologising for the incidents, although no cause for the outages was made public.
"We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support," it said.
"Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."
The incident is embarrassing for Google as it seeks to tout its credentials in the enterprise space alongside more long-standing players such as IBM or HP and new business-focused start-ups such as Box offering similar services.
However, despite the negative headlines the incident will generate for Google, especially as its tries to push its services to enterprises, Ovum analyst Andy Kellet told V3 such an incident was still far rarer than when companies have internal systems.
"History tells we used to have far more internal problems at companies than the odd outage at Google or Microsoft. With individual organisations you may not even know you have a problem until the next morning, but with Google you have 24/7 support," he said.
Kellet said for those serious about ensuring an enterprise grade service the use of public tools like Gmail may not be the best option, though.
"It's more appropriate for businesses serious about having an enterprise grade service to choose something that lets you achieve some level of control over the facilities you're letting staff use," he added.
In spite of this Kellet admitted that outages are a part of life and no-one can guarantee 100 percent uptime forever, so businesses should have contingency plans in place for such incidents.