Google’s (GOOG) Gmail was down for 18 minutes last week after a “routine update” (PDF) briefly broke the e-mail service. The search giant reported that it conducted an update of its load-balancing software from 8:45 a.m. to 9:13 a.m. U.S. West Coast time, and after the problems were detected it managed to quickly roll back the buggy code. But this didn’t stop some people from questioning why Google would roll out a software update during peak e-mail hours on the West Coast. The answer is that most of the coders behind today’s popular websites and services are deploying their code when it’s ready—not at some pre-determined point when downtime may not be noticed. It’s called continuous code deployment, or some variation on that theme, and everyone from Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) to smaller services do it. While it may occasionally cause a few blips, those blips should be shorter and less catastrophic. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-12-17/google-s-gmail-outage-is-a-sign-of-things-to-come
James F. Booth
For more than 25 years, James Booth has provided consulting and legal services to telecommunications carriers and to enterprise companies that manage their own telecommunications networks. Since June of 2009 he has also served as General Counsel of Spread Networks, LLC, which is the industry leader in the construction and operation of low latency high speed networks. Before joining Spread he was General Counsel for OnFiber Communications, a competitive telecommunications provider, and was the sole attorney for Qwest Communications International in support of its construction of an 18,800 mile fiber optic network spanning the United States. Earlier he was lead counsel for U S WEST in its wireless and cable television ventures in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.