Synthetic Monitoring

Simulate visitor interaction with your site to monitor the end user experience.

View Product Info

FEATURES

Simulate visitor interaction

Identify bottlenecks and speed up your website.

Learn More

Real User Monitoring

Enhance your site performance with data from actual site visitors

View Product Info

FEATURES

Real user insights in real time

Know how your site or web app is performing with real user insights

Learn More

Infrastructure Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Instant visibility into servers, virtual hosts, and containerized environments

View Infrastructure Monitoring Info

Comprehensive set of turnkey infrastructure integrations

Including dozens of AWS and Azure services, container orchestrations like Docker and Kubernetes, and more 

Learn More

Application Performance Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Comprehensive, full-stack visibility, and troubleshooting

View Application Performance Monitoring Info

Complete visibility into application issues

Pinpoint the root cause down to a poor-performing line of code

Learn More

Log Management and Analytics Powered by SolarWinds Loggly

Integrated, cost-effective, hosted, and scalable full-stack, multi-source log management

 View Log Management and Analytics Info

Collect, search, and analyze log data

Quickly jump into the relevant logs to accelerate troubleshooting

Learn More

Don’t let the holiday rush slow down your web apps and impact your business. From now until December 31, 2021, use offer code HOLIDAYJAM to get 20% off Pingdom plans*. New customers only. Click here.

Google Apps SLA loophole allows for major downtime without consequences

Gmail could be unavailable for more than 21 hours in a day, and Google could still tell you that according to their SLA, the service has had 100% uptime.

It sounds impossible, but it’s a direct consequence of how Google has written its SLA for Google Apps (which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and more). We will explain this in detail further down, but let’s first look at what the SLA actually says.

What the Google Apps SLA says

Here are the key parts, quoted from the Google Apps SLA, emphasis added by us:

“Downtime Period” means, for a domain, a period of ten consecutive minutes of Downtime. Intermittent Downtime for a period of less than ten minutes will not be counted towards any Downtime Periods.

[…]

“Monthly Uptime Percentage” means total number of minutes in a calendar month minus the number of minutes of Downtime suffered from all Downtime Periods in a calendar month, divided by the total number of minutes in a calendar month.

So, “downtime periods” are what’s ultimately used for counting the uptime percentage for Google Apps, and these downtime periods ignore all downtime that lasts less than 10 minutes.

A worst-case scenario

Now back to our initial statement. How does the SLA make it possible to have more than 21 hours of downtime in a day and yet Google would call it 100% uptime?

Here is the problem: What if Google Apps was down for 9 minutes, up for 1 minute, down 9 minutes, etc. That would mean 54 minutes of downtime each hour, but Google still wouldn’t count it because none of the individual downtimes lasted 10 minutes of more.

Over a day (24 hours), that’s 21 hours and 36 minutes of downtime that Google would simply ignore when calculating the final uptime percentage.


Above: Red is downtime, green is uptime. Note that none of the downtime periods above last 10 minutes or more and thus are not counted according to the Google Apps SLA.

It’s an extreme and very unlikely worst-case scenario, but we wanted to illustrate the consequence of how Google’s SLA sums up its downtime and calculates its uptime percentage.

A more likely scenario

Now let’s take a much more likely example of intermittent problems:

3m, 8m, 12m, 5m, 9m, 14m, 4m = 57 minutes of actual downtime

But Google would only count this as 26 minutes of downtime, including only the downtime periods lasting 12 and 14 minutes.


Above: In this scenario, only the downtime periods lasting 12 and 14 minutes (marked with yellow) would be counted according to the Google Apps SLA.

Short outages are common in the real world

The problem with the Google Apps SLA is that short outages, less than 10 minutes in length, are actually very common in the real world.

As you may know, we here at Pingdom run an uptime monitoring service, and we know from our own experience (and a LOT of data from thousands of sites) that it’s much more common for sites to have multiple short intervals of downtime instead of a few long ones.

The 99.9% monthly uptime guarantee in the Google Apps SLA allows for 43 minutes of downtime in a 30-day month, but ignoring problems that last less than 10 minutes at a time will definitely make it much easier for Google to honor its SLA.

Real User Monitoring: How to Improve Your Target Audience Reach

In the first post of this two-part series, we talked about the need to fully un [...]

Web Performance of the Top 50 E-commerce/Retail Sites in 2021

By Rachel Frnka Many factors have led to the massive increase of online reta [...]

How Pingdom’s Real User Monitoring Can Help Optimize Your WordPress Website

Enterprise web applications or medium-to-large, consumer-facing websites are ty [...]

Web Performance of the World’s Top 50 Blogs

By: Rachel Frnka Am I the only one who thinks blogs were in their prime in t [...]

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp Down for Over Five Hours

Did you unconsciously open Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp several times throu [...]

Monitor your website’s uptime and performance

With Pingdom's website monitoring you are always the first to know when your site is in trouble, and as a result you are making the Internet faster and more reliable. Nice, huh?

START YOUR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL

MONITOR YOUR WEB APPLICATION PERFORMANCE

Gain availability and performance insights with Pingdom – a comprehensive web application performance and digital experience monitoring tool.

START YOUR FREE 30-DAY TRIAL
Start monitoring for free