Google launched an Apps Status Dashboard this week, following the problems they had with Gmail, AdSense and other products.
Given many businesses now rely on these services, it was a smart move to give people an area they can go to check whether the outage or problems are local to them or something Google is experiencing on their end.
As they stated in their Enterprise blog:
"The Google Apps Status Dashboard represents an additional layer of transparency that we believe will be particularly useful for our business users, and it's also relevant to users of our consumer products. The Status Dashboard is the best place to check for information on service availability for Google Apps anywhere in the world. In my role on the sales team, I regularly talk with customers to make sure that they're getting the most out of Google Apps and I think that you will find this tool indispensable in managing your Google Apps deployment."
TechCrunch mentioned the dashboard in terms of "Gfail" - funny how we all seem to be using the new Twitter-speak (the Fail Whale has become an icon).
While I am sure Google does not want to have an association with the up and down swing of Twitter - the fact that they launched this app was a smart way to take away the impact of their recent outages.
They also offered a 15 day credit to all enterprise level users of Gmail following the problems earlier this week. But given these users are paying $50 a year (per user) - the discount amounts to about $2 per person. If my dedicated server goes down for more than an hour I get a month credit as part of the contract.