Tuesday, October 11, 2011

EMEA wide RIM server outage affects Blackberry users

OK, I will be the first to admit that it has been amusing to see the over the top reactions that some have been posting on forums and Twitter etc. The hatred and anger experienced by some is laughable, but at the same time the BES side of things is somewhat more serious. Losing a whole infrastructure like that in one hit is not good for business on the best of days, and to be honest I would not be surprised if a few people/companies reconsider their loyalties to RIM/Blackberry. It is one thing to have a problem as a service provider for a short period of time, but its something completely different to have a 24 hour EUROPE wide outage, and to say nothing more that a couple of little tweets on Twitter.

Why was it down, how long will it take to restore, what is affected, what action can users take, when it does come back on will there be lag... And so on. A multitude of questions people had, and bombarded their network carriers with, who were sadly as in the dark as the rest of the RIM users. Its somewhat ironic that a company who prides themselves in revolutionising the world of wireless communication failed so badly to in any way communicate what the hell was, and still is going on.

An outage apparently starting at 11am Monday, but my carrier Orange UK was already having issues communicating with the RIM servers on Sunday afternoon, hence why my device swap has been in limbo now for over 36 hours. At this point there were already lag issues, maybe this would have been the right time to contact users to notify them of service issues. I'm sure RIM can do this somehow.

OK so I guess I should show my hand at this point, and say, as pissed off as I am, I still remain 'loyal' to Blackberry at this point, as the device and services are what I am used to using, and as a whole until yesterday was more than happy with. But it raises questions in my head. How the HELL did something like this happen, and why in god's name has it taken so long to get anywhere near to resolving the issue.

Dear RIM, Its a bloody joke! I don't get it. Twitter was working fine yesterday, so fine in fact that 'blackberry', 'rim' and 'BB' have become trend topics. The outage is all over the news, forums are full of anger and upset at this poorly managed outage, yet the official websites say NOTHING about it, not so much as a link to some info if you don't want to splatter your front pages with it. Poor show I say.

The worst part for RIM at this point, is how much of a laughing stock they have become. And speaking of stocks, I wonder if they have been affected by this total failure of service and customer service. Apple will be laughing their socks off at this gift thrown towards them. While the two are not comparable, it has certainly spiced up Apple's argument for which is the superior device. BBM failure just in time for iMessenger to be launched. Free advertising if I ever saw it.

So what now? When will the service be up to 100% again, when will I finally be able to finish my device switch, when will I be able to reply to people who BBM me, that RIM has decided I currently cant contact.

I really hope serious lessons are learned here, and that a repeat of this is impossible, but lets wait and see eh. Will we ever know the real reason for the outage, and reason it could not be restored using back-up servers quickly? All I want is a rough explanation of what happened, how and why..... But I'm not gonna hold my breath for that.

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