QuickBooks Service Outage – Repeat

| July 14, 2010 | 10 Comments

Back in June Intuit had a major failure of most, if not all, of their online services. Well, looks like we have a problem again. At this moment, many Intuit web sites (QuickBooks sales, Intuit Community Forum) are down due to what is characterized as a “commercial power failure”. Services are being restored. How long will it take this time?

As I see it, QuickBase is still running, which means many IPP addon applications should work. I can’t log in to my Intuit PaymentNetwork account, though. So it isn’t clear what is affected. I know that shortly after the last service outage some of the services (QuickBase) were moved to another service site.

I’ve talked about this before – in my QuickBooks Service Outage Affecting Online Apps posting and my QuickBooks Service Outage Again posting. I also wrote about running QuickBooks during Intuit Server Outages. And, at the bottom of this article, I’ll post additional information as it comes out…

Short term outages are going to happen, it is going to be a fact of life if we rely on online packages. The first outage I reported on took days to resolve, and was a major problem. We’ll see how fast this one can be resolved.

HOWEVER, I never did get an adequate response from Intuit over why these kinds of things have such a large impact on them. A properly run data center should NOT have these kinds of problems?

Here is my list of questions from before:

  1. What exactly happened?
  2. Were my accounts hacked? (the most likely answer is “no” but I want to be sure).
  3. Was my data lost? (the most likely answer is “no” for pretty much everything, but we need to know for sure).
  4. Why wasn’t there a “mirror site” at another location (preferably FAR away from the main one in a city I know of but I’m not supposed to mention) that would kick in automatically?
  5. What is being done to prevent this from happening again?
  6. What security measures have you taken to protect my data?

ONGOING DISCUSSION

Rather than put up a new article with each outage, I’m going to add addendums to this one as we move forward. At least until something drastic changes.

I’ve not been able to get a statement from anyone at Intuit that has any meaning. All requests I’ve made for a response have either been ignored, or deflected with statements that have no real meaning. My friend Michelle Long pointed me towards one public statement on this – see the article from Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, at the QuickBooks Online blog: http://blog.quickbooksonline.com/2010/07/16/effort-is-underway-a-letter-from-the-intuit-ceo/. Sounds good, but there are still a lot of questions. We know there are multiple sites, but we don’t know anything about redundancy, etc.

So here is a list of outages that I know of – there could easily be more. I’m not listing smaller outages due to maintenance.

  • June 15/16 2010 – the major crash that affected almost all Intuit services.
  • June 19 2010 – a weekend crash of QuickBase and many online apps
  • July 20/21 2010 – QuickBase has been down for quite awhile. Not sure if this affects other applications or not.

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Category: General Tips

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the Accountex Report blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

Comments (10)

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  1. Dennis Holck says:

    Point number 4 is the one I am struggling with. Why would Intuit, who is working more and more on becoming a Software as a Service company, rely on a single location subject to power failures, natural disasters, etc? It seem pretty irresponsible to NOT have that mirror location far far away from the primary.

  2. Charlie says:

    This doesn’t look to be as big a service outage as before. Services are slowly coming back on line, although at this moment some are still off…

  3. I’m surprised that a power outage can bring them down. It seems pretty basic that there should be backup generators (that run on gas) or a mirror site as you mention in #4. I’m amazed that it happened again…so soon. We need answers and more importantly action! Power outages are not that uncommon — they should be prepared for it.

  4. Charlie says:

    Michelle, not OR, but AND. Generators are important, but a mirror site is also important. You could have some sort of failure that a generator can’t handle (cable into the facility cut, for instance).

  5. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for posting again Charlie. I ran into a problem yesterday trying to send an accountant’s copy of a data file to the client’s CPA through the Intuit exchange. I hope that it was because of the power issue…. not another problem. I haven’t used that for many months… and of course…. the time I needed it most was when it didn’t work. Shucks and oh well….

  6. Charlie says:

    Cynthia, I don’t think that the problem you had was related to this outage, but I can’t say for sure. I think that this problem occurred just today…

  7. SaA says:

    Real data centers have multiple DS3 data lines, so that if a major carrier cable is cut or damaged, traffic can be routed to other carriers. Most have several feeds for electric services. They also have battery rooms and backup generators. They also deploy mirror sites. It would seem that Intuit has none of these. In light of the major outage in June and the assurances from management that this would not happen, 300,000 users will surely be reconsidering use of their services. This Intuit QB service outage is simply irresponsible and inexcusable.

  8. Just wanted to mention that POS merchant services and the Paycycle version of Intuit Online Payroll didn’t go down either time. I don’t know how that plays into what’s going on, but it’s interesting.

  9. A VERY frustrated QB client says:

    And here we go again. WTF. Ugh.

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