Dark clouds for software as a service?
Thousands of business users were left without access to their applications yesterday after Salesforce.com's servers suffered a service disruption.
The problem affected all of the software as a service vendor's datacentres for almost an hour.
According to Salesforce.com's community page, Trust.salesforce.com, the problem occurred at 20:39(GMT) when a core network device failed, stopping all data from being processed.
When the system failed to trigger a failover to redundant systems, Salesforce.com staff had to carry out a manual recovery.
Most of the services were restored within an hour according to Salesforce.com and all services were back online soon shortly after 23:00(GMT).
Salesforce.com said: "While we are confident the root cause has been addressed by the work-around the Salesforce.com 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."
Commenting on the outage, senior analyst with Freeform Dynamics, Tony Lock, said: "Having a service interruption like this one is certainly noticeable when you have a vendor like Salesforce.com that has been delivering pretty good service over the course of the last five or six years."
Lock added that as long as software as a service vendors continue to deliver good service levels and availability, the occasional service interruption is acceptable as "nobody expects IT to be perfect".
"It will not have a major impact on organisations' plans for the adoption of software as a service. I think that software as a service will continue to grow as it has been doing over the course of the last few years," he noted.