Microsoft DNS outage shows fallibility of Cloud: Experts

Occasional Cloud outages to be expected across the market, as Microsoft “continues to review” its outage

The recent Domain Name Service (DNS) outage that hit Microsoft is an example as to why IT managers must not leap blindly into Cloud computing, analysts have said.

Ovum research director of IT for Asia Pacific, Dr Steve Hodgkinson, and IDC Australia associate vice president of services practice, Chris Morris, told Computerworld Australia that the outage showed the Cloud was equally susceptible to failure as other forms of technology.

“One effect of the recent incidents is just to remind people that Cloud services — no matter what their scale — are fallible like any other form of utility service, and we shouldn’t naively assume otherwise,” Hodgkinson said.

“Occasional outages are a useful reminder of the need to have realistic expectations and to have a plan B if the continuity of the service is critical.”

Morris agreed, having said IT managers must understand what they are signing up for when moving to Software as a Service.

“It will make more visible to customers the necessity of understanding the terms of the service they use,” Morris said.

“Signing up to a Cloud provider does not remove the need to understand the impact on the business of an interruption to service.”

While confidence in the Cloud market may not diminish dramatically, Hodgkinson said consumers will punish vendors who do not keep them in the loop about outages.

“What matters most to market confidence … is the transparency of the provider’s communication and their explanations of what happened, and what will be done to prevent a repeat of the problems that caused the outage,” he said.

“The market will definitely punish any Cloud service that develops trend towards being unreliable — and so it should.”

Microsoft first reported the outage on Friday, with businesses worldwide being unable to access Office365 Cloud services, Hotmail, and live@edu accounts.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the DNS problem caused the degradation of multiple Cloud services, with the tool that helps balance network traffic not updating correctly “for a currently unknown reason”.

“At approximately 8 p.m. PDT, Microsoft became aware of a Domain Name Service (DNS) problem causing service degradation for multiple Cloud-based services,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“As a result, the configuration was corrupted, which caused service disruption. Service restoration began at approximately 10:30 p.m. PDT, with full service restoration completed at approximately 11:30 p.m. PDT.

“We are continuing to review the incident.”

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags Cloudcloud computingoutagessteve hodgkinsonDomain Name ServiceCloud outageDomain Name Service (DNS)Chris Morris

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