Network Device Failure Shuts Thousands out of SAAS Apps

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-01-07 Print this article Print
 's SAAS CRM apps went down Jan. 6 in a nearly 40-minute outage that spurred a tweeting rage on Twitter., which hosts CRM and other enterprise apps over the Internet for thousands of companies, says the problem thwarted over 177 million transactions in Europe, Asia and North America. Outages are common among cloud computing service providers, and is joining Google in that unfortunate arena.'s reliable reputation as a software-as-a-service provider was tested Jan. 6 after thousands of business users were left without access to their enterprise applications for roughly 38 minutes, according to numerous reports on Twitter., which hosts CRM and other enterprise applications over the Internet for thousands of companies, said on its community site that the problem thwarted over 177 million transactions in Europe, Asia and North America beginning around 20:39 GMT.

A core network device failed, stopping all data from being processed, according to the site, which provided details about the outage here. staffers worked quickly to get the system up and running again and did so within an hour of the device failure.

"While we are confident the root cause has been addressed by the workaround, the technology team will continue to work with hardware vendors to fully detail the root cause and identify if further patching or fixes will be needed," said.

Click here to read about how Google and execs took on Oracle and Microsoft at a Web 2.0 Summit cloud computing panel.

Such outages are not uncommon in the world of SAAS, or Internet-fueled computing, aka the cloud.

Google in the summer of 2008 suffered a few outages to Gmail and other Google Apps, prompting a loud outcry among thousands of users who use Google Apps to run their businesses. Google provided the affected Google Apps Premier Edition customers with credits.

But outages at, the godfather of hosted CRM software, are less frequent. In fact, analysts have suggested Google should look to as the model for cloud reliability.

After all, has been hosting software for nearly a decade and it has largely proved a reliable alternative to on-premises solutions from Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and other enterprise application providers.

The outage will accomplish two things: give Oracle, SAP and Microsoft more firepower to argue that the cloud is still unreliable for enterprises, and force, Google and other SAAS providers to redouble their efforts to get application service reliability as close to the 99.999 percent reliability benchmark as possible.


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