Google launches Apps status dashboard--a day late

As promised, Google unveiled a new status dashboard for Apps that lists every application within the suite, whether it's up or down, the nature of any problems occurring and a real timeframe for when issues will be resolved. Too bad it's a little too late to appease the Gmail users who lost three hours of work due to Tuesday's outage.

The dashboard is a response to Apps' problems last August, when it experienced three outages in as many weeks. At the time, users complained that Google wasn't very helpful in terms of explaining the problem and providing estimates when service would be restored. The dashboard hopes to change all that.

According to the Official Google Enterprise Blog, the dashboard is the best place for users--of both the paid and free Apps versions--to go when they experience a service disruption. It provides status info on all Apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Google Talk, Docs, Sites and Google Video for business. Users can learn whether an outage is occurring, the nature of the outage as well as Google's best estimate for when the service will be back up and running:

AppsDashboard

The dashboard displays an "X" icon for a service outage, and an "i" icon when information is available about that outage. For example, on Feb. 24, there is an "i" icon under Gmail, with a link to Google's official incident report.

The dashboard is a good move, especially if Google hopes to entice more enterprise users to Apps. IT execs will more readily cede control to Google if they can actually have real information at their fingertips when outages occur--rather than having to wait around for Google to provide status updates when it sees fit. So yes, the dashboard is a day late, but perhaps not a dollar short.

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