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An Azure Outage Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:40 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item An Azure Outage






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Post #1266480
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:41 PM


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In my experience the weakest managers are the ones repeatedly leading a witch-hunt for this or that...terrible for morale and very anti-progress.

All moves have advantages and disadvantages. The cloud is not going to be right for all businesses, but I suspect it will be good for enough, for enough, to prove it is here to stay.


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Post #1266484
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:10 AM
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The last sentence: However I think lots of management might prefer in-house infrastructure for a simple reason: it gives them a specific neck to choke, and possibly replace, when things go wrong.

That may be true for some companies, but I've also seen the opposite: it's easier to put the blame on a third party because it looks like it frees managers from the duty to solve the problems. If SLA's are defined it's also easier to explain why you bash a service supplier or not.
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Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:13 AM
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I think the difference is, if one of your internal systems goes down for any reason, you're in control of getting it back up and running. If the "cloud" goes down, you're entirely in the hands of the company providing that service to restore your access, and this leaves you feeling a bit helpless. Plus, you kind of expect a company the size of Microsoft to have enough redundancy in place that you really shouldn't be getting 8-hour outages!
Post #1266528
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:27 AM


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Yes, it was a technical problem and we all have sympathy for these because we experience them, and are sometimes responsible for them. Azure has, in general, performed very well and this incident is uncharacteristic. For me, the problem was that Microsoft's marketing department had previously over-egged the pudding by talking up the resilience of Azure 'Always up, Always on'. If they'd been more circumspect, and said that, on balance, there would be outages in any cloud service but these would probably be fewer than you'd expect from your own in-house IT Infrastructure (the Azure SLA quotes 99.95% uptime) , then it wouldn't have caused so much of a story. With marketing material, any IT manager needs to know by how much to dilute the claims, and they're likely to add plenty more water after this incident. After all, the occurrence of a leap year is rather more predictable than an earthquake.


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Post #1266536
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 3:42 AM


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This reminds me off when I was a passenger in a car recently. The driver was distracted by something the other side of the road for a moment and noticed late that the road had started to bend. I confess I have done exactly the same. As a driver you have an "Oops!!!" moment whilst adjusting direction. As a passenger its more like "Aaagggghhhh...we're all gonna die!!!". Basically, the driver notices the error and works on correcting it safe in knowledge that all is under control whereas the passenger doesn't have any confidence until the adjustment is complete.

Anyone gone to pump the brakes whilst a passenger?


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Post #1266563
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:15 AM


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addieleman (3/14/2012)
The last sentence: However I think lots of management might prefer in-house infrastructure for a simple reason: it gives them a specific neck to choke, and possibly replace, when things go wrong.

That may be true for some companies, but I've also seen the opposite: it's easier to put the blame on a third party because it looks like it frees managers from the duty to solve the problems. If SLA's are defined it's also easier to explain why you bash a service supplier or not.


Quite right - where I work any incident has the phrase 'we are working with our 3rd party suppliers...'.

It's never OUR fault.
Post #1266615
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:51 AM
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Phil Factor (3/14/2012): (the Azure SLA quotes 99.95% uptime).


So we shouldn't expect another outage for, oh, three years or so. Sounds good to me.

Redundant failover architecture should include the management tools, folks. I'm spouting because I don't know the nature of the problem or the technical solution, but hey, if the system were in-house, I'd know, wouldn't I?
Post #1266625
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:57 AM


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phegedusich (3/14/2012)
Phil Factor (3/14/2012): (the Azure SLA quotes 99.95% uptime).


So we shouldn't expect another outage for, oh, three years or so. Sounds good to me.

Redundant failover architecture should include the management tools, folks. I'm spouting because I don't know the nature of the problem or the technical solution, but hey, if the system were in-house, I'd know, wouldn't I?


Surely you would have to investigate before you knew anything beyond what was reported. Wouldn't you?


Gaz

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Post #1266629
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:05 AM


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If you read the update and root cause analysis, this wasn't a redundancy issue. It was caused by a software bug, one that couldn't be fixed by more hardware. Developers had to build a fix, test it, and deploy it. This resulted in substantial delays, as many of us should be able to understand.

However it also appears that MS wasn't as forthcoming initially, at least according to Gartner: http://blogs.gartner.com/kyle-hilgendorf/2012/03/09/azure-outage-customer-insights-a-week-later/

Apparently MS is offering credit for the day, which is something: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-to-provide-azure-users-with-33-percent-credit-for-february-outage/12154







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