Microsoft Azure Cloud Service Outages

News from Omniquad | Nov 27, 2014


Instability in Azure has been causing some major down time for Microsoft’s Cloud customers, including Office 365 users. According to Microsoft Azures website in the last week "We are experiencing a connectivity issue across multiple Azure Services", "Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting access to some Microsoft services. A spokesperson has said “We are working to restore full access to these services as quickly as possible.” The outages are also causing problems for the many customers relying on Azure to host websites. This includes Microsoft itself, whose MSN.com site was inaccessible last Tuesday.

Outages have been an ongoing problem since August. The Microsoft Azure status update website shows a history of outages dating back months. http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/status/#history

Azure outages are a serious problem for Microsoft as they try to sell its cloud-computing service as a cost-effective and reliable solution. Experience shows that you can’t rely on their service alone. This is why it is crucial for businesses to have a back-up system in place.

Many of our customers are asking “why do we need Mailwall Cloud when we move on to Office 365?”

Office 365 may not offer the level of protection from advanced threats that many organizations need.

Cloud-based email has created amazing opportunities for companies. We have built Mailwall Cloud around making the Office 365 experience better, more secure but perhaps as important: Available. We offer important add-ons for Office 365 including an Email Continuity and Contingency service which ensures 100% uptime during and after an organization’s migration to the cloud.


Business Continuity

Contingency services limit the risk associated with cloud service outages, automatically re-routing email to end users via Mailwall Cloud. Learn more about Maiwall Cloud for Office 365


Comprehensive Wide Angle Security

A wide angle approach to cloud security delivers a multi layered solution to ensure improved security in a complex threat environment. While Office 365 offers many good features, the solution is not comprehensive enough as a stand-alone email security solution:

  • The current versions of Office 365 do not offer end-user access to spam quarantine.
  • Currently Office 365 does not support deployment of redundant spam filters alongside Office 365’s own spam protection.
  • Office 365 does currently not support blacklists.
  • Limited threat protection, Office 365 does not include more advanced and targeted threat protection, such as real-time link following that check the contents for malware, neither does it compare links to known blacklists and check reputation of links.
  • Office 365 does not support taking an action, such as quarantine, on an email containing a link based on the URLS reputation
  • Office 365 does not currently offer protection against phishing and spear-phishing emails.

Omniquad’s Mailwall Cloud is built to enhance security in for Office 365, with specialist protection against targeted threats such as phishing and spear-phishing complements Office 365’s features. Learn more about Phishwise.


Archiving

Archiving for Office 365 provides data redundancy, ensuring an available archive of email content and a backup in an alternative location. Learn more about Archiving.


Enhancing Office 365

There are two major issues at play with Microsoft’s Cloud Services:

  • Problems with outages and downtime
  • No one solution can meet the requirements of all customers

Office 365 is reasonably reliable, and Microsoft is working hard to combat down time and outages. Hopefully the platform will achieve the stability required for a serious business solution soon.

Microsoft Office 365 is a good solution that offers a wide range of capabilities, the features and functions meet the needs of a wide range of potential customers. But like most mass-market solutions, not all needs will be met for all customers.

Office 365 customers may need third party products and services to supplement the features and functionalities of the platform.


Further articles about Azure outages here:

http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2382347/microsoft-azure-suffers-huge-outage-affecting-websites-and-office-365

http://www.crn.com/news/cloud/300074860/microsoft-working-to-restore-azure-services-across-global-network.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/19/us-microsoft-web-idUSKCN0J309E20141119

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/status/#current



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