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Software // Enterprise Applications

Trust, But Verify

Marc my words: No Web service is perfect.

Marc my words: No Web service is perfect.
Mark Twain wrote, "Put all your eggs in one basket and--watch that basket." Having cracked a couple of eggs with systems outages of late, last week took that advice. It debuted a Web site that lets anyone watch the real-time status of key system components that determine whether customers can access their data in its hosted CRM system.

The site,, also shows historical system performance. So anyone can see that Salesforce's NA1 component has been offline twice in February: for 81 minutes on Feb. 9 and 62 minutes on Feb. 16. Salesforce had a six-hour downtime just before Christmas. A Salesforce spokeswoman described the service availability display as "inspired by customer feedback."

For software-as-a-service to continue growing, it must be reliable. After the January outage, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff was quoted in news reports as saying, "Nothing runs at 100% availability." presumably will show that to be true--just hopefully not too often.

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