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Failure at RIM's network operations center causes flood of reports

The familiar Blackberry has a special place in the hearts of many businesses, and its addictive qualities have caused many users to affectionately dub it the "Crackberry." But with each addiction comes the risk of withdrawl symptoms, as evidenced by the swarm of reports of last night's widespread outage that affected all of North America.

There were no small number of sites reporting on the failure of a SRP (Server Routing Protocol) server in RIM's Network Operations Centers, which severely crippled the functionality of devices in the Western hemisphere. While RIM does have two major NOCs supporting North America, the scope of the problem was evidently enough to overwhelm the available redundancy.

In response to this short outage, RIM's share price fell nearly a full percentage point on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and customers were less than pleased with the seemingly apathetic response from the company. Even RIM's own website made no mention of the outage, leading frustrated customers to reducing various third-party support forums, including the popular BlackberryForums.com community, to smouldering heaps of database errors and dropped connections.

Services were officially restored early Wednesday morning, but the massive backlog of messages from RIM's eight million Blackberry users may take some time to clear the system.


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Constant outagages
By Mitch101 on 4/19/2007 10:48:40 AM , Rating: 3
There are constant outages but mainly at the carrier points in blackberry. I cant tell you how many times I had to call Verizon and finally get them to admit that a cell tower in NY, NJ, CA, or where ever is down our out. Or they havent delivered any messages and its Verizon that is the problem. Yes all the other carriers have this issue too.

The funny part is all the companies rushing out to buy blackberry monitoring software to monitor thier blackberry servers. Yup thats the solution throw more money away that wont help where the real problems lie. I thought it was so funny I almost started my own company. Anyone can code monitoring a blackberry server in only a few days. http://www.besrx.com/ and http://www.blackberrymonitor.com/ Interestingly enough I had a feature that could have automatically corrected this outage problem. Guess everyone else will have that now.

I once outlined over 30 points of failure on a blackberry message delivery to show you that its more complicated but simple than most think. End users think they are directly connected to the lan. Sorry its no more reliable than a cell phone.

What is inherently wrong with blackberry servers is its poor centralized database design. In meetings with blackberry I have tried to tell them they need to cache the information locally instead of relying on the central db and a remote database communication. If you lose your central db all of blackberry goes dead. While its convenient to have the database on a central DB its additional risk or points of failure. Your BB server will be up more if you use local DB's instead.

But what do I know Ive only had 2 years 100% uptime on 30 exchange servers. I lost that record when a machines redundant power supply didnt kick over and that was a manufacturing issue not an implementation issue. No I dont use clusters as any real exchange admin will tell you if your going to have a real problem its going to be the store not the services which a cluster wont do you any good. But its a good way to spend twice as much money over complicating a simple process. Clusters sounds cool lets do it. Its really helped RoadRunner. LOL.




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