A service outage Tuesday undermined Box's message of enterprise strength. Apparently caused by a software upgrade gone bad, the outage affected a limited number of accounts. A Box spokesperson declined to go on the record about the number or percentage of users who were unable to access their files. (I was unaware of the issue when I spoke with Tidmarsh Bouck.)
For those who were affected, the outage lasted two to three hours, long enough for one user to complain on Twitter Dear @BoxHQ and @boxsupport - why no updates on the status of your site during an long outage?.
Box responded with apologies, saying "We're very sorry for any inconvenience."
Competitors were more outspoken. Huddle put out an extensive blog post on the Box outage analyzing the likely reasons for the outage and explaining why its own approach to cloud reliability is different and better. Huddle particularly had fun Box's error message, displayed with the headline "Pardon the Pause."
"'Pardon the Pause' may be cute, but it won't resonate with global enterprises working across multiple timezones whose operations don't pause and whose workers [need] access to the information to get their job done round the clock," according to the post.
"Downtime in the cloud is frankly something that every company fears, and no one is fully immune to," Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain said in a statement. "It also happens to be why smart companies, and especially larger enterprises, are looking to hybrid cloud solutions to leverage their bets with a behind the firewall insurance policy. Cloud-only plays are really a consumer strategy, and as many of the analysts and industry luminaries have concurred (including us), hybrid cloud is the only strategy for a business that wants to keep their workers working all the time."
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