The public nature of public cloud means every hiccup — as much as it gets disclosed — gets scrutinized. And rightly so. Last week’s issue with Microsoft Windows Azure was no exception. While the service degradation affected customers’ ability to move new code from staging to production, did not affect end-users’ experience. But, the fact that the issue affected so many regions, raised eyebrows. And again, it should have.
At 7:35 p.m. PDT Microsoft’s status page acknowledged that services out of “North Central US, South Central US, North Europe, Southeast Asia, West Europe, East Asia” were impacted and Microsoft sounded the all-clear at 10:45 a.m. PDT.
Outages, partial disruptions, glitches are nothing new to the major cloud providers. While Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Google work over-time to convince the world that their respective cloud services are solid, none of them are immune to glitches including Amazon’s US East woes and this Google App Engine snafu.
None of these events will reassure corporate IT pros considering a cloud move. But then again, most of those people should already know the pitfalls of running their own server rooms and data centers.
The difference between an Azure/AWS/Google outage and a glitch in a company’s own data center is that in the case of public cloud, there’s a status page to check. (How disclosive those pages are is subject to debate, but that’s another story.)
When my area was hit by two Comcast On Demand snafus over the past week all we got was an esoteric error code. Trying to glean details beyond that was a fool’s errand.
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