updated 07:10 pm EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
RIM explains two-day BlackBerry outage
RIM late Tuesday gave a statement finally addressing the two-day ongoing BlackBerry outage affecting most of the Eastern hemisphere and now parts of South America. The firm briefed Pocket-lint that the outage was triggered by a "core switch failure." A backup was available, but that didn't switch over properly, triggering a "large backlog" as e-mail and messages came in but couldn't be processed.
The company didn't have an estimated time for when service would come back and was only clearing through backlog "as quickly as possible," according to the statement. It also left out why service had briefly come back only to fail again.
BlackBerry Internet Service has failed before but rarely drops for as long or on as large a scope. The frequency has also been picking up, following a shorter outage just a few weeks ago. With an indefinite time to a restoration, service now won't be back until no more than just two days before the iPhone 4S and could leave a large number of users sore about reliability.
By its nature, the BlackBerry ties many basic services like e-mail, messaging, and others to monolithic servers. If RIM encounters a failure, it often reduces users to just basic features. Android and iPhone work more directly and can still be almost fully functional even if they lose a key service.