Salesforce services blighted by power outage

Cloud giant forced offline for several hours, much to the dismay of customers.

Cloud

Cloud-based CRM giant Salesforce.com suffered a significant service outage yesterday.

On the company's status page, which was unavailable for a time because of the disruption, it said that seven of its instances were being disrupted. This was later reduced to five as two of them came back online.

Service disruptions were initially discovered at 12.30am PDT, according to the company's status page. Around 2.45am, the company said the power problems had been fixed.

"Power issues were detected but our technician onsite has confirmed this has been fixed," the update read. "We are currently working to restore the service."

The company noted at 8.00 am that: "Customers may experience intermittent login issues on the NA1, NA5, NA6, CS0, CS3, and CS1 instances. We are actively working on [a] resolution [for] this issue and believe we have identified the root cause."

The problems have left users from around the world up in arms, despite the company asking them to be patient and check in with the status update page.

As of Wednesday morning UK time, all instances were up and running.

Angela Eager, research director of analyst firm TechMarketView, said the company had handled the incident well considering the extent of the problems.

"[It is] the speed and quality of response that matters and Salesforce.com does well here," said Eager.

"The latest incident will increase calls for integration with customers' enterprise monitoring and alert system. The need will intensify as more customers start to inter-mingle services from different clouds, while also integrating them with their on-premise systems."

Eager said the episode highlights how undeveloped the market for cloud lifecycle, monitoring and performance management systems is.

"Cloud services is approaching the stage where these types of support tools should start to find traction," she added.

Ian Moyse, sales director at rival cloud CRM vendor Workbooks.com, said the Salesforce outage illustrates that bigger isn't always better when it comes to choosing cloud suppliers.

"Cloud is allowing innovative companies to compete with larger corporate brands and part of the beauty of SaaS (Software as a Service) is that customers can easily migrate from one service to another and have freedom of choice," he said.

"No solution, on network or cloud, can be perfect, but inherent with cloud is when there is an issue it affects a lot more people with immediacy. Support accessibility and clear communication to affected clients are key in these scenarios," said Moyse.

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