Microsoft's Office 365 is reportedly hit by outages of undetermined size. Microsoft hopes Office 365 will help sell customers on its "all-in" cloud strategy.
Office 365 seems to be experiencing some outages.
for the inconvenience that the [Office 365] outage has caused today. We're
[sic] are working on resolving the issue," read an Aug. 17 tweet
posted at 3:30 EST on Microsoft's cloud-services Twitter account.
minutes later, Microsoft's official Office 365 Twitter account posted
"Investigating service issues. Expect more service updates will be available
via the Service Health Dashboard."
some Office 365 customers seemed less than pleased with the outage. "The Web
interface is 503 error, our exchange clients are all offline," read a typical
post on one Office 365 forum
. "Some of them have come
back online, but it looks like they are the exception, not the rule." Others
also reported issues with accessing the platform's service status page.
"Office in the
Cloud just Evaporated," wrote another on the same forum. "Need some new weather
As of 5 p.m.
EST on Aug. 17, Microsoft spokespeople had yet to respond to eWEEK's
request for comment on when full
Office 365 service will be restored and what technical issues, if any, caused
launched the final version of Office 365, its cloud-based productivity
software, with a June event in New York City hosted by CEO Steve Ballmer
. The platform links
Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online into a
platform that costs $2 to $27 per user per month. On top of that, Microsoft is
offering an Office 365 Marketplace with productivity applications and
months, Microsoft has pushed an "all-in" cloud strategy centered on
subscription products like Office 365. By embracing the industry-wide trend
toward the cloud, the company hopes to diversify its revenue stream beyond
desktop software such as Windows. Moreover, placing companies and consumers on
a subscription model ultimately yields more revenue than a single copy of
software, provided the customers in question keep paying for a sustained period
said, the cloud comes with its own drawbacks, the most visible of which is the
occasional downtime. No cloud architecture can guarantee 100 percent uptime,
but companies try to bake enough redundancies into their systems to keep
outages to a bare minimum. However, Microsoft's predecessor to Office 365, BPOS
(Business Productivity Online Suite), experienced the occasional downtime that
affected customers for up to nine hours.
In the wake of
the more recent BPOS crashes, executives suggested the issues affecting the
platform wouldn't come into play with Office 365. "O365 should provide more
stable service," read a June 22 tweet
on the Official Microsoft Online
Twitter feed. "It is built from the ground up new, and reports and expectations
are very good."
Microsoft's cloud the only one affected. In April, a well-publicized outage at
Amazon Web Services led to service disruptions across the Internet, affecting
popular Websites, such as Reddit, Quora and Hootsuite. Google lost some of its
users' email data in February, and launched an aggressive effort at
restoration. The possibility of at least one downtime is baked into cloud
contracts; the growing question is: What happens with an outage so catastrophic
that it results in data loss, or delays so lengthy they cause a client to lose
incidents, though, don't seem to be dissuading businesses from believing in the
ultimate benefits of the cloud. "Clouds will have downtime-it's a fundamental
issue," Andi Mann, chief cloud strategy guru at CA Technologies, told eWEEK.
"But you need to be ready for
downtime, whether it's your own infrastructure or cloud infrastructure. You
need to understand what the risk is. It's all just about risk management."
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