Feb 29, 2012

What effect did the Windows Azure outage have on your business?

We are "lucky" enough to have been in the service area that had a Windows Azure outage this morning. My company is relatively new to cloud computing, and while the outage didn't really cause us any significant problem, mostly because the outage was early in the morning and resolved pretty quickly. The biggest impact was some freaking out by management, and me spending a lot of time defending our shift to the cloud. Did other people experience something similar, in that the real impact was a jolt to confidence in the cloud model?

I don't use it, so it wasn't a problem at all for me. :D

Here's an article with some details on the outage though:


"We are experiencing an issue with Windows Azure service management. Customers will not be able to carry out service management operations,” Microsoft said on that page, The Inquirer reports.

Moreover, the company also announced a few hours later that it found the root of the problem and that it was working on resolving the issue.

The software giant has been testing a fix for the issue for the past several hours, and it has already started to roll it out.

“We have started a gradual rollout of the hotfix in North Central US sub-region. As we proceed through the rollout, we will progressively enable service management back for customers,” the Redmond-based software giant noted on the said page."
Any outage causes a bit of a freak out in my experience, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not. The Azure outage apparently was somewhat limited in geographical scale, but still, a lot of customers experienced it for many hours. The thing is that it is an imperfect world, and anything created by man is likewise imperfect. What I would try to point out to management is that there are occasional server issue for companies that have not embraced the cloud, and while this single outage was inconvenient, it was a relatively rare event. Admittedly that can be cold comfort when your business operations are effected. This could also be a good time to propose revisiting your business continuity planning. Good luck!
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