Blackberry Communications Outage

Over the last couple of days Research In Motion (RIM) had a problem when one of their switches failed and then the backup didn’t come online as planned. 

In a statement released Tuesday, the company said the "messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure. Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested."

What makes this interesting is that when the switch (at least that’s what they’re claiming) failed and the backup system didn’t kick in millions of people were without texting and internet connections on their Blackberries for a few days. 

And were they mad! 

Now, my Tracfone is nowhere near as important to me as these devices appear to be millions of users world wide; however, it did get me thinking.  Supposedly we live with redundant systems that will come online if the main system fails with our major services:  electric, communications, and power. 

This was an annoyance for most people, but what happens when there’s a grid failure and the backup fails for our electrical service?  It’s happened many times and the results are rarely good when the power goes out for an extended period of time. 

The Internet was designed by DARPA as a communications system in case of nuclear war, so one would think that we’re safe from big outages, but I wonder what would happen if a powerful virus or a few strategic switches went down at the same time incapacitating at least 75% of the ‘net ?  Imagine trying to get online and there’s no internet?  Most businesses today are dependent on computers to operate and the internet to communicate in one way or another.  Email, texting, video conferencing, VOIP (voice over IP), and on and on. 

It seems we’ve placed an awful lot of eggs in one basket as a civilization doesn’t it?  Hey, I love the ‘net!  Don’t think I’m arguing against it because I’m not, but sit for a minute and think what would happen if you tried to get online and there was no connection.  First of all you wouldn’t be able to cruise to your favorite web site  Horrors!  And there would be no email, no online news (for that’s worth), nothing.  How would it affect you? 

Imagine people all over the country sitting down and seeing the same thing.  Who ya gonna call?  Probably your ISP, but they’ll be so backed up with phone calls that you’ll never get through.

People were mad when some of the services on their Blackberries stopped working, so imagine no communication at all other than land lines.

Have your communications plans ready folks!  You never know when you’ll need them.

How do you think the world would handle a breakdown of the Internet? 

-Jarhead Survivor


The weight loss continues.  I’m down about 9 lbs in three weeks, which is a little fast for weight loss, so I’m going to try and slow it down a bit.  A healthy weight loss is around one to two pounds a week over a long period of time.  When you first start out you might lose five or ten lbs (depending on how much you have to lose) at first, but eventually it should go down to one or two pounds. 

Also, the audit is going well.  I hit the last of the grapes today, but I’ve got enough oranges and apples for at least another week.