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7/11/2012
08:54 PM
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Salesforce Outage Follows Data Center Power Glitch

A Silicon Valley data center used by Salesforce.com customers suffered a power outage as the provider attempted to upgrade electrical equipment.

Salesforce.com suffered a service outage early in the morning Tuesday as its data center provider in Silicon Valley attempted to replace electrical equipment. Salesforce.com servers lost power and its technology team was not able to troubleshoot problems until power was restored.

"The root cause was a power failure in our West Coast data center. Our data center maintenance was designed to be non-impacting" with regard to CRM services as the equipment was being replaced. But "there was an unexpected failure during the transfer of electrical load. This caused a loss of power to all Salesforce.com devices," the incident posting stated.

"The incident introduced a number of problems, particularly in our database and Search storage tier," the Salesforce.com technology team wrote in a posting to Salesforce’s Services Performance History. For West Coast customers, service was unavailable 1:24 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., or service performance was degraded during that period, as the team brought various systems back online.

"We apologize for the inconvenience this caused you," the team wrote.

[Want to learn more about how to guard against an incident that leads to a service outage? See Amazon Cloud Users Get SunGard Disaster Recovery Option]

The outage affected production instances of Salesforce.com CRM applications labeled NA1, NA5, and NA6, and sandbox areas used by customers for software development, testing, and viewing of new features before implementation. Data Center Knowledge reported that the outage occurred in an Equinix data center in Silicon Valley used by Salesforce. Equinix is a builder of data centers, with customer companies leasing space and installing their own equipment. Equinix company officials acknowledged their Silicon Valley data center had experienced a brief power outage and said some customers may have been affected longer than the loss of power itself. The outage affected a quarter of its data center.

Salesforce.com officials couldn't be reached for further comment.

Expertise, automation, and silo busting are all required, say early adopters of private clouds. Also in the new, all-digital Private Clouds: Vision Vs. Reality issue of InformationWeek: How to choose between OpenStack and CloudStack for your private cloud. (Free with registration.)

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