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In SAAS, We Trust

The future is going to be dominated by SAAS, no doubt. But there will always be concerns when doing that transition. For example, would I be able to customize the solution to my needs? Am I going to have a good response time? And so on. This is regarding the concern related to the service level of the SAAS solutions.

I didn’t know till a friend of mine told me that some of the SAAS companies actually provide a status page on the availability of their systems. For example, Google provides a status info for it’s apps, Amazon for it’s web services and Sales force for it’s SAAS solution. I was doing a bit of research on all of this and today I saw something strange. has it’s status information at a website aptly named at where they provide the number of transactions and average response time, the health status of the various servers on a daily basis. This should give a good indication to people considering SAAS solution on what they can expect. That is, if this information can be trusted. has a very impressive average response time that is less than 0.3 seconds. For an enterprise application, where many top vendors probably can’t even meet 3 seconds or even more for an on-premise hosted solution, providing a 0.3 seconds response time or less for a multi-tenant model is quite impressive. Of course, in doing so, they prevent doing certain expensive tasks (for example, a while back I checked didn’t allow “select distinct” in their SQLs).

So, what’s the strange thing I am talking about you ask me? Take a look at this screen capture of their status page. System Status (Oct 16, 2010)

What you would notice is, for Oct 16, 2010 (which is the same day as this blog post in PST), the average response time is 147.575 seconds. Isn’t this amusing? As per their updates, they had some performance issues. But how can the average response time go worse by more than a 1000 times? That too, when the number of transactions executed seems to be similar to the trend (compare weekends).

Something is definitely wrong with this picture. I am sure their average response time is probably a lot more better, but if I can’t trust the numbers posted on the, then that’s a problem. Also, if there is a performance issue, they are supposed to have a different icon. As can be seen in the screenshot, their NA6 server is supposed to have had performance degradation, but the icon shows green dot instead of blue dot.

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