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Salesforce suffers gridlock as database collapses

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Salesforce.com rushed Wednesday to assure customers that all is well with its online CRM service one day after a severe outage infuriated customers.

Salesforce watched as one of its four data hubs collapsed on two occasions Tuesday, leaving customers with "intermittent" access to their information. By the late afternoon, access to all information had been restored. Such an outage is the last thing a company tempting customers with a new business model needs for its reputation.

The main cause of the failure appears to be a database cluster crash. We're not pointing any fingers, but you might want to read this press release.

The outage rattled customers and investors alike with Salesforce shares dipping as much as 5 per cent on the day before making a recovery. One financial analyst expressed his concerns over the ordeal in a research note.

"We are told the outage impacted a majority of customers, as well as restricting the company's own access to the system. Customers were completely unable to log in and use the system to access customer data," wrote First Albany Capital analyst Mark Murphy. "We are aware of multiple customers that are quite displeased with the outage. We believe this is the most severe and widespread outage Salesforce.com has experienced. It would not surprise us if Salesforce.com's competitors get hold of this news and try to use it to their advantage."

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