Zoho and the Cloud Stability Question

November 11, 2008 by

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I’ve been a long time proponent of “cloud computing” and can’t imagine trading in my GMail or Google Docs on any machine I’m using for Outlook or Office tied to one machine or one OS.

Whether I’m on my Blackberry, Ubuntu laptop, Macbook Pro, Nokia N800, iPod Touch, Mac Mini, my wife’s Vista laptop, etc I can get to every piece of email, every document, every note (through Evernote) every task (through Remember The Milk) that I need.

It is beyond liberating and the type of freedom that any heavy user of computers should seek out. I simply cannot wrap my mind around people that continue to tie themselves to one desktop or laptop or even one operating system.

Firefox is my operating system.

However, the biggest concern I hear (and I have) about using “web apps” like GMail is whether or not they are stable and secure. What happens when their server goes down? What if you can’t get to your GMail because Google is doing maintenance? It’s a very good question and something I consider a cost for having the freedom of mobility.

This morning, Zoho is launching “Zoho Status” which monitors the health and stability of all the Zoho web apps (and they are numerous)…

Zoho-Status: “Today, we are adding a new section to our website – Zoho Status – which displays the health of all Zoho Applications. You can visit http://status.zoho.com to see if our applications are running and responding fine. The site provides you availability & response times for the past week along with downtime, if any. “

I find this highly important and relevant to web workers like affiliate marketers because many of us do use GMail or Google Docs on a daily, if not hourly or minute-ly, basis.

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Zoho is, yet again, pushing ahead past Google or other web app providers here just as they have done frequently in the past. If you’ll remember, Zoho was the first to integrate Google Gears with its word processor to allow for offline work that syncs to the server when you are back on the network. Google Docs now offers this. Just recently, Zoho released Zoho Mail. I honestly think it’s a superior product to GMail because it takes the best of GMail and melds it with the functionality of Outlook, all in a web interface, complete with Google Gears for offline mode. GMail doesn’t have Gears integration yet. I’m not switching just yet, but it is tempting given Zoho Mail’s range of functionalities that GMail is just starting to catch up to with its own Lab features.

So, as a web worker, if I’m looking for a stable suite of web apps to use in place of Outlook and Office, I’m looking closer at Zoho today. Much of what I do on the web is mission critical in one way or another, and having the peace of mind that Zoho Status provides (at least in a placebo effect way) is calming.

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