Jive Suffers Major Cloud Outage

Enterprise collaboration specialist hit with service disruption that knocks customers' wikis out of the virtual sky.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

January 14, 2011

3 Min Read

At least 500 Jive Software customers had their wikis thrown offline Friday after the provider of cloud-based social media platforms suffered a major outage at a data center, sources said.

The outage occurred at a SunGard-owned facility in Aurora, Colo., from which Jive provides hosting services for enterprises that subscribe to its online social media offerings, including blogs, wikis, and peer-to-peer tools. In a statement, Jive officials blamed the downtime on a hardware failure within a storage system.

"We are actively working with SunGard to restore service to the affected companies as quickly as possible. Jive is committed to continuing to provide outstanding customer service. We are taking all the necessary steps with our outside hosting provider so that this type of failure does not occur again,” the officials said.

Jive representatives said only about 90 customers were still experiencing problems as of late afternoon.

SunGard said it isn't to blame. "We are experiencing no infrastructure outages," said a spokesperson for the company. "Jive confirmed that this is not a SunGard issue."

Among the customers that were affected by Friday's outage was United Business Media, the publisher of InformationWeek magazine and InformationWeek.com.

UBM's in-house Wiki went down early Friday and was still offline as of late afternoon, according to social media officials at the company. UBM relies on its Jive-powered Wiki to connect more than 6,000 employees in offices in 30 countries around the world.

"We have a very good relationship with Jive, but clearly we're going to be taking them to the woodshed over this," said Ted Hopton, Wiki Community manager for UBM. Hopton said that, in an effort to find a fix, Jive staffers were consulting with their counterparts at SunGard and at NetApp, which provides a cloud infrastructure layer between SunGard's services and Jive's front-end platform.

"The communication flow is going very well," said Hopton.

Customers affected by the outage were those who were using instances of Jive Engage 4.5 running in a shared environment in a virtualized stack, said Hopton. Other customers hit by the outage include Alcatel Lucent. Jive counts among its customers major corporations like Cisco, Nike, Toshiba, and SAP. It was not immediately clear if their operations were impacted by the outage.

The disruption highlights the tradeoffs enterprises make in opting for cloud-based platforms. While hosted products can often be deployed and maintained more efficiently and inexpensively than traditional, server-resident software, downtime at the provider's end can leave a company without key services for extended periods. Other cloud-based service providers that have suffered significant outages in the recent past include Google, Amazon, and Comcast.

Jive is privately held, and counts among its major investors private equity giants Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. CEO Tony Zingale was previously president and chief executive at Mercury Interactive.

For further reading: Wolfe's Den: Talking Enterprise 2.0 With Jive Software CEO Tony Zingale.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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