I know a ton of people (myself included) who own a “Crackberry,” not the smart phone device Blackberry made by Research In Motion. So when the network goes down, it hurts and hurts bad! This is what millions were faced with yesterday afternoon as the network was down and not restored until mid-day today. RIM did issue the following statement blaming the service interruption on a spike in users upgrading the Blackberry Messenger application:
A service interruption occurred Tuesday that affected BlackBerry customers in the Americas. Message delivery was delayed or intermittent during the service interruption. Phone service and SMS services on BlackBerry smartphones were unaffected. Root cause is currently under review, but based on preliminary analysis, it currently appears that the issue stemmed from a flaw in two recently released versions of BlackBerry Messenger (versions 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) that caused an unanticipated database issue within the BlackBerry infrastructure. RIM has taken corrective action to restore service.
What makes this situation worse is that it is the second service interruption in the same week for Blackberry users. According to the company the service disruption did not affect phone calls or text messages from being sent and received which is true; however it did case a massive data lost which will probably never be able to be quantified. As the service when down I sent myself an email from my Blackberry and checked today on my laptop realizing the email never made its destination. Also any Blackberry Messenger message that I sent during the outage never made their destination, add these to examples and multiple by the millions of users who were effected and you have a very bad data loss situation.
Unfortunately for RIM this might be the kick that nudge users to move off of their device and look for an alternative.
RIM has also provided a new version of BlackBerry Messenger (version 184.108.40.206) and is encouraging anyone who downloaded or upgraded BlackBerry Messenger since December 14th to upgrade to this latest version which resolves the issue. RIM continues to monitor its systems to maintain normal service levels and apologizes for any inconvenience to customers.
Diehard BlackBerry users often compare BlackBerry Messenger to a potent drug. And just like a drug, coming down from a BBM high can be rough — so rough, in fact, that RIM’s claiming that a couple recent releases are responsible for “an unanticipated database issue” that stone-cold knocked out data service for many of the world’s subscribers yesterday. Folks using versions 220.127.116.11 and .56 are being strongly advised to upgrade to 18.104.22.168 immediately, but in the meantime, Waterloo says its systems are back to normal while apologizing “for any inconvenience to customers.” With three major outages now under BlackBerry’s belt in the past month, faith in the rock-solid stability of its infrastructure is fading rapidly — but then again, it gives you a great excuse to be off IM for a few hours and talk to live humans, doesn’t it?