The recent outage suffered by Death2Spam highlights once again the risks with externally sourced services. Death2Spam is an hosted application that provides spam filtering for enterprise email. They had a catastrophic hardware failure that blew out an entire RAID stack. Putting aside the reason for the actual outage, it’s not hard for the hosted application naysayers to say that it wouldn’t have happened if spam filtering was achieved through an installed application.
Of course the response to that is that hardware failures can happen anywhere – hosted applications just move the locus of failure from within the building to outside. They hopefully also increase the level of professionalism used in both hardware and architecture, thus minimising the risks of failures.
Hopefully Death2Spam has learnt something from the outage and other providers will also look at what they do and start to build in yet further levels of redundancies into their products.