Microsoft BPOS Cloud Email Outage: Some Lessons Learned

microsoft cloud outageMicrosoft Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) customers are experiencing a multi-day email outage, reportedly starting from Monday, May 9, 2011 (I can almost sense that Amazon is smirking behind Microsoft’s back.)

As reported by Seattle’s, the cloud email outage happened before Exchange Online upgrade on May 12, 2011. The upgrade itself should not affect services to customers, according to Microsoft.

The cloud email services troubles have been resolved, as announced in a blog post written by Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of Microsoft Online Services – on Thursday night, May 12, 2011 to be exact.

Why outages are normal – backups play important roles

Customers should expect outages to happen with cloud-based services. As we all know, cloud computing for business is far from mature, and due to that fact you should expect some “growing pains” and “hiccups” along the way.

That’s why many suggest you to have some forms of backup of all your data in the cloud – offline backups, if you will. That way, when things go wrong, you have your “secondary emergency system” up and running, taking over business activities to avoid business operational interruptions.

Another lesson learned from the BPOS email outage

This one is for cloud businesses; one more lesson learned from Microsoft business cloud outage is that communication is vital – even more important than getting the service issues resolved. According to the same source, there are plenty of complaints of Microsoft not being openly communicative about the outage issues.

BPOS does inform customers about the system troubles in the dashboard, but it’s only available to paying customers. The demand is for BPOS to open this dashboard to all BPOS customers – both paying and free users. Some others complain that system trouble updates are too slow and too general.

The good thing is that BPOS acknowledges those issues and promise that the information will be provided in more specific and timely manner; lessons well-learned, and kudos to Microsoft for listening and responding to BPOS customers.

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