BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Limited admitted that "the introduction of a new, non-critical system routine" at the company's network data center was the cause of the service outage Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning that left almost 8 million users without wireless e-mail access. The update was actually designed to optimize the cache of the system that handles e-mail sent to BlackBerry users. RIM said it didn't expect the update to impact users, "but the pre-testing of the system routine proved to be insufficient."
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company also said the process designed to maintain service in the event of a failure "did not fully perform to RIM's expectations," causing a longer delay before service was restored. RIM said it ruled out security and capacity issues, along with hardware failure or core software issues, as the cause of the disruption and is improving its testing, monitoring and recovery processes to prevent such an outage from happening again. The problem occurred at RIM's hub for North American traffic, which routes messages to and from cellular service providers for all of the continent's BlackBerry devices.