Partner Says Microsoft Should Offer Credits For Azure Outage

“In this case, I would hope that Microsoft does the right thing and provides credits,” said David Geevaratne, president of New Signature, a Washington, D.C.-based Microsoft partner and provider of cloud and Office 365 services.

Geevaratne said Microsoft offered him and many of his customers a discount after their access to Office 365 was cut in August after a large power outage in Dublin, Ireland, took down the cloud services for several hours.

Microsoft said this week’s Azure outage, which began at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday and impacted service in Western and Northern Europe, East Asia, and in the U.S., was the result of a “time calculation that was incorrect for the leap year”.

Service was restored to the majority of customers about nine hours later, but full service was not restored to all geographic areas for about 24 hours, Microsoft said. The outage did not affect the Windows Azure storage service.

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Bill Laing, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for the Server and Cloud Division, apologized for the outage in an Azure blog published Wednesday afternoon, and said most service was restored to the majority of customers and services by 2:57 a.m. PST, Wednesday.

In another post Thursday, Laing wrote that Microsoft was trying to determine how the leap year glitch happened. “The [Azure] teams are already hard at work on the root cause analysis and I will share those details on this blog in the next 10 days.”

Geevaratne said his company was still evaluating the impact of the outage on his business and his customers. While such a failure “hurts the brand a bit, even if it’s not related to other Microsoft offerings,” he said cloud services could ultimately be improved by the outage.

“This is an opportunity [for Microsoft] to revisit their disaster recovery plans, because no service is infallible,” he said.

Other partners reacted angrily following the outage earlier this week, posting complaints on an Azure online forum.

“My compute nodes are in fact down,” wrote Kibbles, at 12:26 a.m. PST Thursday. “My main hope is that after this issue they will be a lot more careful in ensuring that they put more focus on making sure something like this does not happen again.”