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Salesforce.com Outage Length Questioned

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What Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff characterized as a “minor” 30-minute outage has drawn criticism from some customers who experienced much longer disturbances.

"It reminds me of the circumstances attendant on the death of Van Jansen, in Utrecht, in the year '34....There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before."
-- Sherlock Holmes laments repetitive crimes in 19th Century England, A Study in Scarlet

The problems experienced by Salesforce.com customers during a recent outage have turned to frustration, which they have been venting online. ZDNet reported how what was described as a 30-minute outage with intermittent problems had greater impact for some customers.

One user blogged that Salesforce had “overpromised and underdelivered,” while another posted how a critical API used to move data between his business and Salesforce was disabled for seven hours after the outage, the article said.

Dan Farber blogged further about the situation, and his request for more disclosure from Salesforce:

As a public (or private) company, salesforce.com should be transparent-providing specifics-about any reliability issues. If it was a 30-minute or several hour outage, what was the cause and how will it be addressed in the future? Is it related to the rollout of the Winter ’06 releases? Did some users experience a more lengthy outage than 30 minutes as some customers suggest? Why the discrepancy?


Although modern web-based services hate the “client/server” label, Salesforce does provide exactly that. So does every single so-called “Web 2.0″ application. There is nothing new under the sun; it has all been done before.

The main difference is the movement of the server to the Internet rather than a remote section of a local area network.

The same unavailability problems that helped push client/server aside in enterprises in favor of local installs of applications like Microsoft Office loom not just for Salesforce, but for the whole field of new Internet-based services.

As much as some people want to see Google offer a hosted version of OpenOffice to compete with Microsoft, for example, getting a lot of users to trust a remote server with what they need locally 100 percent of the time will be the bigger accomplishment.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Salesforce.com Outage Length Questioned
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