It seems that Microsoft ( and others ) is intent on validating my cynical view of clouds. The latest Microsoft outage ( last night and this morning again ) was caused by what the company vaguely called a “DNS issue” and affected not just Office 365 but also the consumer services Hotmail and SkyDrive. The outages were spread throughout the world.
Microsoft says “On Thursday, September 8th at approximately 8:00pm PDT, Microsoft became aware of a DNS issue causing service degradation for multiple services. We achieved full service restoration at approximately 11:30pm PDT. We are conducting a review of our processes. We appreciate your patience.” Microsoft’s status portal also went offline during the outage yesterday which means that the system that tells clients what is happening with outages was unavailable itself.
Google Docs also had a problem this week past. On Wednesday, they had an outage for about an hour that affected documents and other GDocs functions for most users, caused by a memory leakage bug.
One user said that “outages are becoming par for the course”. Which begs the question: why keep your sensitive data with ( and rely on ) a 3rd party when you can probably enable higher availability and maintain stricter security with internal IT processes and systems?
From a commercial point of view, cloud is in its infancy so we should assume that availability issues will be sorted out as these solutions mature. But you know what they say about assumptions …