Microsoft: Cloud Services fail

Well if there’s ever been an advertisement against cloud services, Microsoft is it. The recent spate of outages on Microsoft’s BPOS system continued this weekend past with a 7 hour outage at their Dublin data centre after an ‘act of God’ took out their power grid and backup generators. Microsoft said it would “proactively provide impacted customers with a 25 per cent credit on a future monthly invoice”. Thanks Microsoft!

But one has to wonder at the value of the financially backed SLA offered by Redmond: customers with a monthly uptime lower than 95 per cent get a full discount; a 50 per cent credit on uptime between 95 per cent 99 per cent; and a 25 per cent note for uptime between 99 per cent and 99.9 per cent. So customers experiencing anything above 8.76 hours of downtime a year are able to make a claim against the Ts&Cs in Microsoft’s SLA. The SLA does not apply when the service is hit by availability issues arising from “factors outside of our control” – one of the criteria.

Microsoft also says that blackouts should never be a concern for prospective cloud customers.

“When you switch to cloud power Microsoft, you never have to worry about a power outage. You can rest easy. Our financially backed 99.9 per cent uptime guarantee means a steady stream of power is pumped directly into your business at all times and include 24/7 support if anything ever does go wrong,” said the vendor on its website.

Resellers should take note when advising customers to switch to Office 365, the successor to BPOS, as Microsoft previously admitted that outages on the new cloud service are also inevitable.

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