RIM: 'Faulty switch took out faulty-switch-proof network'

Sleepy BlackBerry bosses to wait for postmortem ...


Blackberry bosses held a short press conference at 10am EST (15.00 GMT) today to calm investors, answer media questions and shed (a little bit) more light on the faulty switch that caused the three-day service outages across the UK, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

RIM’s co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, as well as David Yach, the CTO of RIM, went before the media to explain the series of outages.

It followed a short apology video posted by Lazaridis at 6.20am Eastern Time (11.10 GMT).

Lazaridis expanded slightly on the cause of the problem in the briefing, describing it as a hardware failure. He said a high capacity core switch designed to protect the infrastructure had failed, causing cascading problems as a data backlog took down service centres across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. All services were now back up, he declared, and the RIM team are now flushing through the queued data.

Pressed on just what had gone wrong and why it had created such long-lasting effects, Lazaridis said that RIM was awaiting the results of a root cause analysis:

"The systems are designed not to fail this way so it's going to take some time," he said, also dodging a question about which of RIM's manufacturing partners was responsible for the faulty switch. He said: "We work with multiple vendors: until we have root cause analysis defined we can't tell you that."

On the hot topic of compensation for customers, the three RIM bosses fielded several questions about compensation with the same answer: they hadn't got round to that yet.

"Our focus has been 100 per cent on getting the system up and running.. that's been priority until just now," said Lazaridis.

Ballsie added later: "I'll speak for Mike here – nobody's gone home since Monday." ®


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