Thursday, September 22, 2011

Office 365 - The Sep 8th Outage Explained

According to information released recently, a configuration update on the tool that Microsoft uses to load balance network traffic failed, causing the load balancing to fail, taking out services such as Windows Live, Hotmail, SkyDrive and Office 365.

This was the latest in a long line of service disruptions for Microsoft's online services - especially of BPOS and Office 365 - which leads to the question: Just how stable are Microsoft's hosted solutions, really?

With all the emphasis Microsoft is placing on their online services, wouldn't you think that they'd be testing things like configuration updates to critical infrastructure before deploying it to soon find that it takes out their "we're all in" cloud services moments later?

Now, whilst I agree that online solutions are appropriate in some situations, they are most definitely not a panacea.  Issues like this that result in thousands (or orders of magnitude more) of their clients being taken offline with no access to their data only goes to show that this is a technology in its infancy and running on technology that's still being stress tested.

If you have moved your data to "the cloud", what happens when your cloud hosting provider breaks or closes down?  How do you get access to your critical business data?  Backups are at least as crucial for cloud-based data as they are for on-site based data - and a proper backup/restore/alternate access regime needs to be worked out with any potential hosting partners well before your data is moved from on-site to the cloud.


The Outspoken Wookie

1 comment:

Alan said...

If it outlook i have a offline copy on my computer... If it is sharepoint i have a cached copy on my computer and if it is lync i have lost nothing and i just look up the phone number in outlook with my offline address book...

Outages happen this is why you make sure you have real apps on you computer caching the info in case something like this happens... that is the beaut of the Microsoft Cloud offering..