Microsoft Azure cloud outage hits customers globally

Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform has experienced an outage, hitting organisations across the world including the UK government CloudStore.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform has experienced an outage, affecting customers across the world including the UK government’s newly released CloudStore.

The service went down at 1:45am, with Microsoft saying the root cause of the incident has been traced back to "cert issues" triggered on 29 February.

In a tweet, the government’s G-Cloud team said Microsoft would move the platform to a different Azure installation. “[We] are confident we'll be up and running again by 4pm,” it said.

In its latest update Microsoft said it was continuing to work through the issue blocking the restoration of service management in the US and northern Europe.

Dale Vile, analyst at Freeform Dynamics, said users of cloud services needed to put back-up plans in place in case of outages. 

“With the increasing use of cloud services, customers sometimes short cut on the due diligence required and rely too much on service providers who they expect to take care of all the resilience and recovery issues. We’ve seen these sorts of outages happen before, with Amazon  for example, so customers need to go in with their eyes open as nothing is foolproof," he said.

Amazon's cloud service crashed in August 2011 after a lightning strike caused power failures at its datacentre in Dublin, which followed an earlier four-day outage in April last year.

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As with most public cloud systems, Azure also experienced its day in the dark. Having spent the last 3+ years in this ecosystem, I can say that most of Azure users are in the long tail. Startups ,upstart efforts from large enterprises etc and this outage went under the radar for the most part due to the long tail nature of the user base.
As with most apps deploying to public clouds, a good monitoring and auto-healing system is critical to ensure timely notification and recovery.
We have outlined that in our blog here http://www.opstera.com/blog/

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