I am working with a mortgage broker to refinance my home. The mortgage broker uses a number of tools to communicate with his clients and seems to be pretty tech savvy. I found out that he uses Salesforce.com because he invited me to communicate with him using Chatter.
In order to use Chatter you have to log into Salesforce.com and when I recently tried to log in, this is the screen that I saw. A notification that Salesforce.com would be down from 10pm to 2am starting on Saturday, March 1, 2014 for scheduled maintenance. Now I know most people are not going to be impacted by this off hours scheduled maintenance and could care less that they won’t get to use Salesforce.com on a Saturday night. But there is a bigger story here. For a number of years Salesforce.com has been trying to reduce its maintenance windows to minutes instead of hours. Needless to say I was surprised that even with all their might they still have such large maintenance windows.
Now compare how Salesforce.com does its upgrades and maintenance to how 3CLogic does theirs. A bunch of smart engineers at 3CLogic figured out an innovative way to reduce maintenance windows to just minutes. This is because of the unique database design that 3CLogic uses which allows for the upgrade of individual tenants on a multi-tenant system. Because each tenant can have their own maintenance windows, the amount of data that needs to be backed up and restored during an upgrade is relatively small compared to the amount of data that would have to be backed up for every tenant on a server at the same time.
So now 3CLogic’s customers can do scheduled maintenance windows when it is convenient for them. In effect we have eliminated scheduled maintenance windows. Each customer chooses when they want to be upgraded and they do so with a single mouse click which they control.
The same bunch of smart engineers further figured out that they don’t even need minutes to do maintenance. If we back up the tenant’s database on a hot standby server we can do upgrades with zero maintenance windows.
It may not be important for Salesforce.com customers to have zero maintenance windows. 3CLogic’s customers are call centers and a number of them run 24X7 operations. It is critical for them that 3CLogic minimize or eliminate all scheduled maintenance windows. And as a cloud based call center provider, that’s what we do.
Raj Sharma - CEO 3CLogic