Here we go again.
What Do Google, RIM And Microsoft Excel Have In Common? If Any Of These “Essential Services” Go Down, The Business World Stands Still…Or At Least, Moves Much Slower.  Like When My Back Acts Up And I Can Still “Work” But Boy, Am I Unhappy.
Blackberry services were down last week and now on Tuesday evening, my inbox is once again, severed from the mother ship with yet another continent wide outage.
I have spoken often about how Blackberry's strategy of maintaining their BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) network as a critical path in the routing of all Blackberry traffic is both genius on the business innovation front and diabolical in the context of control and interdependence.
A company that has built up an empire on the premise and promise of email reliability has been slow to move away from their NOC (Network Operating Center) approach that results in a single point of failure.  There are a few geographically dispersed NOC located worldwide, each serving different territories. All device-bound push mail data packets go through the NOC's store-and-forward mechanism. 
Steve Beauregard, president of Santa Monica, Calif.-based mobility solution provider Regard Solutions, describes RIM's NOC as a “huge competitive advantage” given the many points of failure that exist in a wireless network. “As a long standing BlackBerry partner, we feel the overall pros of the NOC providing reliable data transport far outweigh the temporary outages,” he said.

However, Beauregard also acknowledges that the NOC architecture can lead to problems when outages happen. “When RIM does suffer an outage all BlackBerry users beyond that point of failure are all affected,” he said.

The BlackBerry e-mail system represents one of the world's largest outsourced infrastructure operations, and RIM has been criticized for not being open enough about the cause of outages.  I believe it is long overdue for that criticism to translate into a governance model and increased transparency around activities and progress around ensuring the key CTQ (Critical To Quality) of Network Uptime is met.  

RIM must ensure there is redundancy in place that makes not just an anomaly, but for all intensive purposes, an impossibility.  Yes, we love our Blackberry's but we pay a lot for the privilege.  We deserve better RIM. Smarten Up.

Our IT Infrastructure teams know how to build robust, fault tolerant high availability networks with the necessary redundancy to meet the SLA expectations of OUR customers.  It's time you did the same. 
MakeITWork Will You?   Before someone like Homeland Security steps in and makes IT work for you. Never A Good Thing.
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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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