Microsoft cloud goes dark
If you are going to force customers to use the cloud, you better make sure it works - all the time
Microsoft's cloud services went down last, for the second time this month, leaving thousands of users without access to the email, applications, Skype, storage, entertainment and so on.
While the service came back after about six hours, a global outage of services, lasting that long is simply not good enough in an era of cloud.
Although the outage came out of office hours for this part of the world, users in Europe, US and South America all reported problems across all services. With the interconnectivity of services, and Microsoft's aim to move all users to subscription models, many users found multiple services unavailable, with a lack of offline alternative or backup.
In the home entertainment field, Microsoft has set out to become a dominant player. The latest iteration of the Xbox is called the Xbox One because the company wants it to be the ‘one' device you need in the living room for TV, games, calls, etc - but if the cloud authentication goes down, then users are left with ‘zero'.
The different technical teams across Microsoft seemed to be battling to fix the fault, but given that almost all the company's cloud services were down (again), there was precious little comment from the top on an issue that seems to stem from a problem with authentication. A problem which had already popped up on 7th March. A single point of failure for every Microsoft cloud service isn't what users want.
Microsoft needs to understand that if you want customers to use your cloud, then you need to convince them it's going to be stable and secure - and if you are going to force your customers to use the cloud, then you had better get the stability and security part right, all the time.