Thousands of businesses were left without access to their applications Tuesday after Salesforce.com's servers suffered a service disruption.
The problem affected all of the software-as-a-service vendor's data centers for at least 40 minutes.
According to a Salesforce.com status page, the problem occurred at 12:40 p.m. PST Tuesday when a core network device failed, stopping all data from being processed in Japan, Europe, and North America.
When the system failed to trigger a failover to redundant systems, Salesforce.com staff had to carry out a manual recovery.
Most of the services were restored in about 40 minutes, according to Salesforce.com, and all services were back online about two and a half hours later.
"While we are confident the root cause has been addressed by the work-around," the company said, "the Salesforce.com technology team will continue to work with hardware vendors to fully detail the root cause and identify if further patching or fixes will be needed."
Freeform Dynamics senior analyst Tony Lock said that "having a service interruption like this one is certainly noticeable when you have a vendor like Salesforce.com that has been delivering pretty good service over the course of the last five or six years."
Lock added that as long as software-as-a-service vendors continue to deliver good service levels and availability, the occasional interruption is acceptable since "nobody expects IT to be perfect."
"It will not have a major impact on organizations' plans for the adoption of software as a service. I think that software as a service will continue to grow as it has been doing over the course of the last few years," he said.
Tim Ferguson of Silicon.com reported from London.