The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- By now of course, nearly everyone has heard about the several days of the largely unexplained worldwide outages affecting BlackBerry services around the world. I was just listening to the RIM ( RIMM) press conference to try and get a little more clarity about what happened. Here are my thoughts/comments about this: First, I take them at their word that it was a hardware failure of what was supposed to be a fully redundant core switch. Unfortunately, as good as we think we are at designing redundant systems, there are numerous examples of such systems not being truly redundant and failing massively. What did surprise me, however, is that it took so long to rectify the problem.
Finally, I'd have to say that any such large-scale system that many people rely on, when it fails, will cause a good deal of end user pain. It's inevitable. We are all so reliant on these technologies. When the Internet goes down (and it has for many people over time and for various reasons), we all go through withdrawals. I think many went through withdrawals with the BlackBerry failure over the past few days. That is perfectly natural given how reliant we now are on BlackBerry and other mobile systems. No doubt people will criticize RIM. But we need to look at this rationally, and understand that all of these systems are so complex, it's highly likely there will be failures. In fact, it's surprising there are as few failures in these massively complex systems as there are. So while I too lost service, I am inclined to cut RIM a bit of slack here, as it seems they were not the ones at fault (sounds like they have some real work to do with their infrastructure vendors who sold them a redundant switch that apparently wasn't).