Sunday, July 27, 2014

Storm Clouds

During the last week in June, several of Microsoft's cloud services had outages. This is not picking on Microsoft as Google had outages as well. It's just that I found a good discussion about the impact of the Microsoft outages.

In outages this week, Microsoft’s online Exchange service was down for nine hours, crippling Office 365 and hosted Outlook accounts across North America and Mexico, just after its unified communications service also crashed.

Aside from the fact that entire businesses were left unable to read or write email in the Office 365 downtime, users were also pretty ticked off with Microsoft’s response. User Trec posted on the Office 365 community page:
Tried to contact support by phone, and after half hour, the call was dropped on both occasions. It seems the support guys are saturated and there are not enough staff for an issue like this one.
While Jim1001 said:
Our entire corporation cannot send or receive emails from Outlook (Office 365 Exchange) or even the OWA web browser as of 8AM MST time this morning June 24, 2014! I have never seen a world-wide email go down like this.
And MacBuffalo said:
Office365 is beginning to look like a very poor choice for mission critical services.
Lync Online, which provides VoIP, corporate IM and video conferencing had also briefly crashed two days before, leaving some customers, like ThomasGallaway, suffering a double whammy:
Down for 3 hours now. When going to Calendar outlook freezes. Send/receive works on iPhone. This sucks as we were hit yesterday by the lync outage. Today email. What's going on M$?

Just as in previous cloud services outages the provider (just happened to be Microsoft in this case) couldn't handle responding to customers about the situation. This still makes me worry about putting a corporation's systems in a public cloud where the provider can't provide the same level of accountability as internal services.

Unlike previous cloud services outages Microsoft's Rajesh Jha, Corporate Vice President, Office 365 Engineering has offered an explanation of the outage. The Corporate Vice President of Customer Service has been quiet.

My previous posts on this topic:

     When Clouds Go Bump
     When Clouds Go Thump
     Lessons from the Cloud
     When Clouds Go Bump Revisited
     To Be Fair
     To Be Fair, Again
     To Be Fair, Again and Again

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