Storage Soup

Aug 16 2013   8:10AM GMT

Microsoft SkyDrive outage is just not good for business

Sonia Lelii Sonia Lelii Profile: Sonia Lelii

The disruption of Microsoft’s cloud services this week is likely to shake some customers’ confidence in the cloud, even those not impacted by the most recent disruption.

The Microsoft SkyDrive cloud storage service was one of several applications that were down for some users this week, along with Outlook and People. The apps went down Wednesday and some were still down most of Thursday. They are running normally today but that doesn’t mean customer confidence is restored.

“I worry whenever I hear of any type of outage,” said Cynthia Weaver, assistant vice president of IT at the Detroit-based Walbridge construction firm and an Microsoft Azure cloud storage customer. “Any outage is a big deal. Any is too many. You never know when you are in the middle of an important business process.”

Weaver said her company did not experience problems from the outage because it has not installed the version of Microsoft 365 that includes SkyDrive. Walbridge has at least 8 TB of data in the cloud managed via the Microsoft StorSimple 7020 gateway, a device it installed in 2011. Walbridge uses StorSimple for primary storage for user files, such as Word documents and engineering design files.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first cloud outage. In February, the Azure storage cloud went down when Microsoft let its Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate that secures customer data traffic for each of the main storage types to expire.

“That was a rookie mistake,” Weaver said of Microsoft’s February slip-up. “(But) lately they have really stabilized their service.”

Other cloud providers have also had service disruptions, and Weaver said application downtimes do happen more often than they are reported in the media.

“I wish they were [reported more]. It would keep them accountable,” she said.

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