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Gmail is still causing some users trouble, Computerworld reports. That's three days and counting, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) . Not good, especially since we've seen this before.

In some ways, outages are simply the way of the Web. The Internet isn't perfect. If it were, services designed to make it more stable wouldn't exist. There would be no need to pay Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) , Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD  ) , and companies like them billions annually to enhance the delivery of online data.

Google takes care of its own infrastructure, though not very well at the moment. The very concept of cloud computing is taking a beating as a result. Count the Electronic Frontier Foundation among the fearmongers.

"It used to be that you would dial up to your Internet service provider, and you would download all your emails onto your computer. The only emails you didn't have were the ones you didn't pick up," said Cindy Cohn, the foundation's legal director, in an interview with The Washington Post.

There's a huge problem with this thesis. It assumes that the old AOL or classic email services supplied by EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK  ) or United Online (Nasdaq: UNTD  ) are better at delivering mail than Google. History says otherwise.

On Monday, I argued that a system for synchronizing cloud data locally on a network-attached back-up drive might mollify critics. "If I know tech and developers -- and I've known more than my share -- a solution for this is either under development or already exists," I wrote at the time. Turns out that I was right, and Big Money investors really like the idea.

TechCrunch reports that legendary Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers is leading a $10 million round of funding for start-up Egnyte, which specializes in helping small and midsized business store data in the cloud and back it up to a local system of network-attached storage devices.

New Google CEO Larry Page, flush with a $35 billion war chest, should already be on the phone negotiating a buyout. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think about the Gmail outage, Google's acquisition strategy, and the features and foibles of cloud computing using the comments box below. You can also rate Google in Motley Fool CAPS.

Interested in more info on the stocks mentioned in this story? Add Akamai, EarthLink, Google, Riverbed Technology, or United Online to your watchlist.

Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Akamai and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Akamai and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy can't be bought for any price.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2011, at 10:17 PM, jianhhuang wrote:

    But this idea you mentioned is so off in comparison with the massive cloud google is running. You really cannot outfit a medium size company's ERP system for large enterprises. Scale makes a big difference in what tools you can use.


  • Report this Comment On March 05, 2011, at 11:07 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>But this idea you mentioned is so off in comparison with the massive cloud google is running.

    Why? As a Google user, there's an instance assigned to my log-in. Why can't I simply back-up that instance?

    More broadly, why can't a small business user of Google Apps back-up his company's domain instances? I don't want a solution that backs up all of Google, just the data I store with Google, or Evernote, or whatever.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

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