In November of last year, one of Rackspace's data centers went offline for several hours. One of the companies affected was Chicago-based 37Signals, makers of fancy collaboration software used mostly by Valley companies (including this publication). This morning, 37Signals went offline again — we made a joke about Rackspace in our post, but it seems we were more prescient than we realized. 37Signals is blaming the outage on Rackspace.
We're going to have a long, serious talk with our service provider (Rackspace). They're supposed to be the best in the business, but in this instance they failed us, so we in turn failed you. We'll do everything we can to make sure that something as simple as a load balancer (or firewall or switch or any other network equipment) going bad does not cause two hours of downtime.
Rackspace is a "managed hosting" provider, that is, customers pay them a huge amount of money and Rackspace takes care of everything — they provide the hardware, the software and the technical expertise to make it all work. 37Signals doesn't offer an SLA to their customers but they have one with Rackspace. I expect they'll be getting a rebate for their downtime — and perhaps looking to take their business elsewhere. One can hardly blame them: As things stand, 37signals is delivering software as a disservice.