If you are new to this then did you know NetSuite is owned by Oracle now? So the likelihood of NetSuite crashing is pretty slim. Unfortunately, it does happen. Maybe a couple of times a year there is an unplanned outage for anything from a minute to half an hour. On the grand scheme of things that’s not bad at all but trying to explain that to a company of hundreds of employees that all rely on NetSuite to function is not easy. System users never remember the good times and like to talk a lot about the 0.01% bad times.
With that in mind it is important to know what to do when you suspect NetSuite is down. These are some of the broad steps I follow that you might find useful.
How to respond to a suspected outage
1. Confirm it is an outage.
You might have had someone in the business contact you and say NetSuite is down. Your heart starts racing. Your shaking hands fumble at your mouse and keyboard trying to open your browser as quickly as possible. you refresh your NetSuite window. It takes a while to load. Spinning disc… And then it loads! False alarm. Contact the user and ask them to close their browser and login in again. Does the issue persist? No. brilliant.
So, what is the point of this tedious story? Don’t immediately assume the user contacting you is right. Don’t send a company wide email out confirming that NetSuite is down and you are working on it until you have absolutely confirmed this assumption.
If you have tried and failed to log in to NetSuite yourself in a couple of different browsers, your next step is to check the NetSuite Status page
This site will show ‘live’ information on how NetSuite is performing in all its locations. If an outage is known about by NetSuite, they will mark it here and confirm (if) it is being worked on.
Before you start thinking like a doomsday prepper, you really don’t need this status page saved or bookmarked. NetSuite has about 99.98% up time so you rarely need to visit this page. It can, however, be a useful way of confirming for sure that this is a system problem rather than a local one.
There will be occasions when this page shows everything is live and operating as it should but your whole company is unable to login. In this case maybe you are one of the first to experience the outage. Maybe it’s something local to you. Whatever you think it might be it is prudent to raise a support ticket with NetSuite immediately to get confirmation that there is or isn’t an outage.
2. Communicate to your users.
This step is going to be specific to the size of organization and industry that you work in. For most companies where I have been the in house admin a company wide email has been sufficient. You just want to make sure you get the information out there before people panic and it will also prevent at least a few people from emailing you the same sentence – NetSuite is down!
Also dependent on industry and size of org is whether backup procedures need to be implemented. I’ll leave that up to you but I will stress again that it is incredibly rare that NetSuite has an unplanned outage of longer than half an hour or so. If implementing backup procedures a large piece of work I would leave it at least half an hour first. Tell everyone to go for a coffee!
3. Raise a support ticket.
Now this step is not always followed by everyone but if you are a company that is taking an annual systems audit my experience is that this will save you a lot of headaches. When there is an outage in your region, NetSuite will not contact you to let you know or follow up when the service is back. Although this is a cloud system and data backup and recovery is managed by Oracle, auditors still want to see what you did to understand the cause and future prevention and ensure the safety of your data. Raise a support ticket with NetSuite to flag that you are one of the companies affected by the outage. Once the service is back they will email you to close the ticket. You then want to request a root cause analysis and any further information regarding the outage and what will be done to prevent it happening again. The information you then get back from NetSuite is more often than not pretty slim. However, the fact that you asked and you have an email trail with the support team all reinforces that as a company you responded as you should. You’re welcome.
Another place you can get useful information is back on the NetSuite Status page. after an issue has been resolved you can see there the start and end time of the outage so you can confirm the exact time your business was down.
Follow these three steps, be aware of the NetSuite status page and you will have a much easier experience next time NetSuite goes down. Confirm the issue, communicate to users and then follow up.
NetSuite is a cloud-based system. What this means in the context if a potential outage is that your data is not stored on a local server but in the cloud and managed by the Oracle infrastructure. Using a cloud-based system as opposed to on premise software can have major benefits especially for larger organizations. Learn more about that in our article Cloud Accounting Software for Large Businesses.