RIM’s BlackBerry services are back up and running following a service outage that, at its peak, spanned three continents.
Co-founder Mike Lazaridis announced the reboot late yesterday, stating the firm is getting back to normal service levels in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East. However he cautioned there may still be some instability as the firm’s servers get back up to speed.
The re-start ends a three day outage caused when a core switch in a UK data center failed. Subscribers in Europe and the Middle East & Africa were initially affected, but the problem quickly spread to parts of Asia Pacific and North America.
While Lazaridis admits the firm has let its customers down, there was no word on whether compensation will be paid to subscribers. Several operators are likely to seek recompense, having themselves paid subscribers for loss of service.
Despite reports of anger among RIM’s faithful, Malik Saadi, a principal analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, believes most customers will stand by the firm. “It will take more than just a couple of collapses to persuade loyal consumers of BlackBerry services to look for alternatives.”
However, Saadi added his voice to a chorus of concerns the outage could be another nail in RIM’s coffin. “If RIM does not resolve the problem once and for all, the results could be disastrous for the company in a time where it has already disappointed the financial community,” Saadi comments.
Attention is now turning to the data center failure, and why RIM’s failsafe didn’t work. Ovum analyst Nick Dillon says the length of the outage raises questions about “RIM’s reliance on its centralized network architecture.”
Dillon notes RIM’s subscriber base has doubled in the two years since its last major outage, and says the firm’s network “remains a significant risk,” despite the benefits it offers in “real-time delivery of email and data efficiency.”