BlackBerry Outage Sheds Light on Importance of Power Protection

October 19, 2011

By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin) - Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

It’s been a rough couple of days for Research In Motion (RIM).

Following a major service outage which caused tens of millions of BlackBerry (News - Alert) users to lose access to the Internet and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry appears to be begging for forgiveness as the company is handing out $100 worth of free apps and one month of technical support to all BlackBerry owners to boot.

BlackBerry experienced a bout of downtime starting last Monday, targeting users in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. After a second day of outages in international markets, BlackBerry services went down in the U.S. on Wednesday. The glitch was later attributed to a failure at a RIM data center in England.

The apology and the free loot is an effort to put a company that is already in shaky waters back on stable land, according to company officials.

RIM Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie told Reuters (News - Alert) that, “This is our way of expressing appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions and a tangible way of telling them how deeply grateful we are for their continued business.”

Downtime has plagued many companies recently, particularly this summer as everyone from Amazon to Go Daddy to Microsoft (News - Alert) BPOS caught downtime fever.

According to a recent CNN report, experts on the nation's electricity system have highlighted a worrisome fact that there has been a “steep increase” in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 consumers. In fact, during the past two decades, blackouts have increased 124 percent – up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota.

The fact that big players like BlackBerry and Amazon can experience such catastrophic downtime is a testament to the importance of power protection, units that can power your critical infrastructure when times are rough.

One company charging forward with the power protection campaign is Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert), a provider of power protection technologies for over two decades. Recently, the company issued a white paper called “Powering Your Business Disaster Planning” which delineates the key components of an all encompassing power protection plan – one which proves failproof during short-term power surges or even extended outages. 

“The business community and virtually any other type of organization are highly dependent on continuous, reliable power in order to maintain the availability of servers and network peripherals, telephone systems, and security systems,” commented Bill Allen, director of marketing for Minuteman. “Not much business gets conducted without power, and it’s highly incumbent on these institutions to make sure they have a viable disaster plan in place that includes power availability contingencies.”

To learn more about Minuteman and its recent white paper, click here.

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca