Microsoft Azure: The Reoccurring Blues

March 30, 2020

On a call this weekend, a person mentioned this explanation: “Microsoft Details Impact of Coronavirus on Cloud Services Usage.” The main idea is that “A 775 percent increase in overall cloud services usage in those regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders.”

Short version: Microsoft’s cloud services do not scale seamlessly.

That “gee, Microsoft is good to me” explanation is interesting, just muffled by snuggling.

This morning (March 30, 2020), the DarkCyber news feed presented this interesting write up: “Microsoft Teams Not Working Again – Here’s What You Need to Know.” This write up reports:

Research from online outage watchdog Downdetector saw a huge spike in complaints concerning Microsoft Teams at 9am BST as much of the UK and Western European workforces came online.

Let’s assume that the snuggle report and the down again report are accurate. DarkCyber concludes:

  • Not even Microsoft’s influence can snuff out grousing about its online collaboration Teams service. (Skype? Ho, ho, ho)
  • Microsoft hopes to build the cloud centric services for the US Department of Defense. Sounds good, but will the outage and scaling blues color the deal. (An armed conflict? Sorry may not make the DoD comfortable.)
  • The yipyap about automatic scaling, failover, and redundancy is definitely marketing baloney. (Down means fail, doesn’t it?)

Net net: Microsoft’s cloud like the Amazon and Google clouds are billing machines. The complexity almost guarantees problems. Google’s follow through on stuff that does not work; Amazon’s magical invoices with mysterious line items; and now Microsoft’s magic.

Silver or azure bullets? Ho, ho, ho.

Stephen E Arnold, March 30, 2020


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