Zoho Status Displays Availability for All Services – You Can Use it, Too.

No service is a 100% available, and of course your SaaS provider’s outage always comes in the ‘worst time’, just when you have a deadline to meet… what really gets painful is when you have no information whatsoever on what just happened and how long the outage may be.  Major providers like and Amazon learned the lesson the hard way, and they both released their status dashboards after extended outages and the customer uproar that followed:

Free services rarely display such level of transparency, but that’s exactly what Zoho is announcing today: they created  Zoho Status , a monitoring service which displays the health of all Zoho Applications – currently 24. Here’s a partial screen-print:

If it looks familiar, perhaps you followed my earlier advice on using Zoho’s  Site24×7 service on your own site or even blog.  I’ve been using it for two years now, and received alerts of outages that neither I nor my service provider were aware of.

Zoho took their own tools and turned it into a public availability display, monitoring their services from six different locations: Seattle, New Jersey, Singapore, London, Germany and Australia. For now the display is rather “boring”, being all green.  Obviously we’re all better off if it stays that way and we have no reason to check the status site.fingerscrossed

What makes sense, however, is to use  Site24×7 on your own site, or on any service you are dependent on (you don’t have to install anything, it’s all external monitoring).  As usual, it starts with a free level, adding extra paid services – the new addition today is the Enterprise version, allowing SLA definition, compliance tracking and reporting.

Related articles:

(This article is cross-posted from for CloudAve, the Zoho-sponsored Cloud-Computing / SaaS / Business Blog I am editing. Subscribe to our feed here.)


Little did Jeff Clavier or Brad Feld know just how timely their posts on “Shared Nothing Architecture” would become in days now that the granddaddy of all on-demand software, was partially knocked out for almost a day.

The Typepad outage that prompted Brad and Jeff write their piece was just storm in a teacup; this is the real thing, the Perfect Storm. Real business customers could not conduct their business for a day. That something like this would happen was inevitable, but didnt’ we all expect it in the form of a major Internet outage? After all, on-demand vendors are likely to do everything in their power to avoid such outages – or do they? In the case of, the answer is probably a yes: Earlier this year, announced it would spend US$50 million to set up redundant East Coast and West Coast data centers with rapid data replication and failover capabilities, an initiative it dubbed “MirrorForce.” (source: IDG).
That’s exactly the kind of commitment Brad and Jeff are asking for, and not all (smaller) providers can afford it. Not that they all should… their core competency being in developing innvative software, not running data centers, which should be outsourced to the “pros” like Vinnie Mirchandani pointed it out numerous times.

Back to our “Perfect Storm”, it will have an effect on the entire on-demand industry, since is such an icon for this segment. SAP, Oracle etc… will no doubt refer to this “vulnerability” in their sales pitches. Rival NetSuite will not brag about it on their homepage, but their salesforce will likely be trained to point out to prospects why this could never happen to them …

What exactly happened is still unknown – which in itself is quite a customer communications fiasco on’s part. I bet it will soon be fixed though: the company will come forward with an explanation of what happened, what they do to avoid it in the future, and what they do to accomodate their customers who suffered from the outage. My bet is on Marc Benioff – he will somehow manage to turn this fiasco into a PR victory.

Talk about communication, I am amazed the blogosphere is not abuzz with this story – in fact it’s hardly being mentioned, in sharp contrast to the recent Typepad outage. Isn’t this the type of imbalance Chris Selland and Brad Feld just complained about? Or is everyone out Christmas shopping? 🙂 Ohh… stores close soon .. gotta run now:-)

P.S. is a valid site – I just bought it. (not that I know what to do with it… )

Happy Holidays!

Update (12/21): Others on the subject:

Update (12/23): Unlike Salesforce(less).com, TechCrunch is not mission critical software, just an extremely popular blog, yet when they have an outage, Mike finds it important enough to go public right-away. Way to go!

Update (12/31): Reuters talks about Web Services outages, citing Typepad, … etc, not even mentioning Salesforce(less).com. Funny… Nice-to-have services appear to be more important than mission critical business applications?