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RIM’s October Outage Review

It has been a trying month for BlackBerry users who experienced an extended period of service interruption bringing BlackBerry email and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services to a temporary halt. As it turned out, there was an internal issue where a vital piece of equipment in their data centre went offline. Subsequently, the backup system did not failover as expected. This created a backlog of emails and BBM messages which took a few days to process. It is worth noting that all mail caught in the backlog was eventually delivered.

This outage tested the patience of BlackBerry users as they vocalized their frustration on social media. In the end service was restored and the anxiety associated with feeling disconnected died out.

The big question our clients are asking is “should I switch”? The answer is no. The reason IT departments recommend BlackBerry can be attributed to the unparalleled security and administrative controls which offer the ability to regulate sensitive company information. The same concept applies for all users who chat with friends using BBM; they know their data is being sent through a secure network.

To make all of these security features possible, BlackBerry routes data through their private data centre. RIM’s method of delivering and securing transmissions means that messages cannot be intercepted and used by others for malicious purposes.

This type of service is not offered by other providers as a core service. Some companies have introduced similar BBM-type services for their iUsers which will be just as prone to failure. Despite the increased likelihood of downtime, RIM’s competitors understand that the benefits of a secure mail system outweigh disadvantages of server-side message filtering. As BBM derivatives come to market one must consider that these trickledown technologies which are being developed will experience similar issues at some point down the road, especially as they fight through their infancy stage.

Downtime is a fact of life for those of us who rely on smartphones for communication. Issues, such as RIM’s October outage, will be reviewed and better processes will be implemented to further limit downtime. Sea to Sky still views RIM’s products and services as a best practice solution for managing a business’s communication needs.

If you would like more information please visit the official BlackBerry press release site at: http://www.rim.com/newsroom/news/

If you have questions regarding your business IT, please feel free to contact a Sea to Sky consultant for more information.

– Sea to Sky Team

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