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Abandon All Hope, Trello Is Down!

Trello, the software used by lots of companies (including this one) to help teams collaborate, assign, and track projects, was down for several minutes Thursday morning.

Big deal, you say? Well it certainly was for teams relying on the product to do their jobs, and Twitter (TWTR) was replete with the usual freak-outs. This short snafu—Trello was back online by 7:59 a.m. ET—poses a useful reminder that software, even software running in the proverbial cloud, sometimes breaks. Or something else breaks and brings it down.

What’s a tad unnerving in this case was that the Trello status page that users were referred to showed no information more recent than June 10. That page was updated at 8:08 a.m. with some information about a web socket issue causing slowdowns or outages for 14 minutes.

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This is probably as good a time as any to remind people that software fails, whether it runs in your company’s own servers or on someone else’s (as is the case with Trello which, like Salesforce (CRM), Slack, and other popular business applications is delivered as a subscription service.)

Twitter was riddled with the usual cries for help and conspiracy theories:

The upside to the so-called Software as a Service model is that the providers are theoretically better focused on updating and maintaining their software and hardware than overstretched internal IT departments of their customers. But glitches like this one give some in IT pause.

When Trello went AWOL this morning, I remembered the Microsoft (MSFT) Exchange email that a previous employer ran in-house. It used to fail for days at a time, several times a year, whether through the fault of Microsoft or our overmatched IT staff, it was unclear. But from a user’s point of view, it didn’t matter.

Oddly, that made me feel better.