Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another service outage at Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is not out of the woods yet with service reliability. In December, many customers in the U.S. were down for approximately five hours due to database problems in one of its network centers.

Now, apparently, many of its customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, suffered an outage earlier this month.

News of the most recent outages come at a particularly bad time as Salesforce.com is
in the midst of releasing its "Winter '06" product suite, which includes a service dubbed Mirrorforce for disaster recovery.

I'm assuming that eventually Salesforce.com will get its act together with its redundant data centers, but in the meantime these service disruptions are going to slow the company's progress. As I've said in the past, one of the major attractions to the software on-demand model is that it frees the customer from having to worry about things like backups and disaster recovery. But these recent outages take away from that selling proposition.

eWeek has more.

Update, Jan. 18. Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff commented on the recent service outages yesterday. According to CNET,
Benioff, who has commented little about the incident publicly, said in an interview at a media and customer event here that outages are an inevitable part of computing and that they happen very rarely at Salesforce.

"We don't want outages and we're doing everything we can not to have them, but we'll occasionally have them," he said. "That's part of computing...nothing runs at 100 percent availability."
Not the right answer. Fortunately, Salesforce.com is taking a more proactive approach than Benioff's defensiveness would indicate. The firm is in the midst of rolling out a major infrastructure upgrade that includes database mirroring and instant failover from one data center to another in the event of a disruption.

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Salesforce.com's credibility suffering from service outages

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