Microsoft Azure falls down, goes boom

Written on:February 29, 2012
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Microsoft Azure went down Monday night and stayed down for hours. That news comes as Microsoft is trying to pitch two-year-old Azure as a safe and reliable platform for consumer and business applications.

As first reported by The Register, which cited Microsoft’s service page, Azure’s service management system started acting up just before 6 P.M. Pacific time and the problem persisted for at least 12 hours.  Microsoft’s Service Dashboard showed that two Access Control areas — in Northern Europe and South Central U.S. — were disrupted as of 10 A.M. Pacific time Tuesday.

In a statement, Microsoft said it became aware of an issue impacting Windows Azure service management in some regions at 5:45 P.M. It deployed a fix that resolved the issue for most customers, but that three regions — North Central U.S. and South Central and North Europe – remain affected while Microsoft continued to work on the issue. It referred users back to its service dashboard for updates until the incident is resolved.

Cloud outages happen, but they are never good. The fact that there was not a greater hue-and-cry around this snafu earlier than Tuesday morning indicates to some observers that there are not that many Azure users out there. Amazon Web Services was disrupted for several days last April, and that gap generated considerable buzz.

Big disruptions like these could spook companies that are still wary of entrusting their work to off-site clouds. But, given the economics of cloud computing — which is generally less expensive than deploying servers and software in house — there will still be pressure to go to the cloud.

Photo courtesy of ToddABishop

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