Industry Blog

When every (mili)second counts… Reliability is the X-factor in the era of mobile

Openwave Mobility’s CTO, Matt Halligan, was recently interviewed by VentureBeat about the importance of uptime and reliability for an article with XIM. Here’s an overview of the article:

When Facebook’s services, including its popular photo-sharing app Instagram, ceased to function properly – for about 40 mins – the whole world noticed. And in the mobile industry, where different devices, multiple vendor technologies and services need to interconnect and run seamlessly – having robust systems and processes to maintain uptime is critical.

Reliability in mobile

When it comes to mobile software, reliability goes beyond just stability, especially for a modern consumer base where access to an app is just a swipe away. A reliable mobile app, for instance, needs to be stable and secure. Ideally, when an instance crashes, a secondary instance runs in its place, errors are logged and monitored and the issues are fixed without disruption to the user’s service.

There is an incredibly complex layering of technologies and companies. Beneath the humble app is the mobile OS, beneath that is the network and beneath that is a multitude of interconnected layers of solutions all relying on one another to make the grand scheme work. And all the apps on all your mobile devices are dependent on the reliability that companies like Openwave Mobility deliver.

Openwave Mobility’s solutions don’t keep just a single app’s uptime consistent or fast — they support millions of devices and the millions of apps installed on them.

Matt shares his thoughts on working with a tier one operator: “Each of those components were built independently and were start-ups in their own right. The individual parts met all their individual requirements, but as you combined them together, they didn’t meet the reliability requirements across the solution.” While Matt says they didn’t have to change any code implementations, they did perform a “complete deployment architecture change” to resolve the issue”.

“A lot of times,” Matt says, “it’s assumed your software is reliable. When you deliver a software or service that’s not, then effectively, you lose the trust of the customer, you lose the commercial agreement, and you probably quickly lose your market share within the industry.” You can imagine Facebook’s engineers going crazy trying to fix the issue during those 40 tense minutes.

Reliability is not a new concept. It’s a foundational item when it comes to building and providing a service. It’s a must-have. As Matt comments: “from my perspective, reliability is designed into a product, it’s not implemented into a product.”

Read the full article on VentureBeat here.