The “upload” of a managed package – the creation of a new version – typically takes a few minutes to complete. But there is a second step – some sort of queued replication – that must also complete before the package version becomes available on other instances (e.g. na14 or eu2 or ap1).
Recently we’ve seen delays of up to 5 hours. The delay also applies to actions like “undeprecating” a version: a customer deployment was stalled for over 2 hours waiting for that change to propagate.
For those of us using continuous integration and the newly introduced automation for installing packages (see e.g. Andrew Fawcett’s post “Look ma, no hands!” : Automating Install and Uninstall of Packages!) these delays can result in a series of broken builds until the version becomes available.
I’ve checked with salesforce support and they have responded that:
At present there is no SLA on the installation process as it is an async process that depends on the server availability.
which is a clear position. I guess it’s a case of “hope for the best and plan for the worst” as far as these delays are concerned.