Microsoft Exchange cloud goes down again

By Liam Tung on Jun 24, 2011 10:11 AM
Filed under Software

Health Dashboard down, too.

A week out from Microsoft’s planned Office 365 launch, customers on its existing cloud platform Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) suffered more downtime on Wednesday.

“Network connectivity issues” were the source of Microsoft’s woes in its latest unplanned downtime, according to a Microsoft BPOS Twitter update.

Microsoft assured its followers that Office 365, which will replace BPOS, “should provide a more stable experience.”

“It is built from the ground up new and reports and expectations are very good," the company tweeted.

Customers began posting messages on its support forum on June 22 and, similar to previous outages, some aired regrets over swapping in-house systems for Microsoft’s cloud

The problems affected Exchange Online customers being served from Microsoft’s North American data centre, and also impacted access to the Service Health Dashboard, according to Microsoft. 

Customers were able to switch email to to Office Web Access (OWA), however some complained that it was slow to respond. 

Microsoft said it would update its outage disclosure policies after a hiccup in May that was accompanied by a lack of clarity to customers, which was preceded by a more severe another outage last August

A former Hotmail engineer, Rajen Sheth, who was also responsible for co-founding Google Apps and messaging and collaboration services, has reportedly offered a theory on why the outage occurred: BPOS lacks a multi-tenant architecture.

In other words, BPOS was a dedicated host service as opposed to a true, distributed cloud service that offers greater resiliency in the event of a hardware failure.

Around three hours after outage occurred Microsoft posted on Twitter that it had identified the source of the network issues and had “hardware components replaced”.

The complete overhaul flagged in an earlier Twitter update will be announced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on June 28 at the official launch of Office 365, according to an announcement by Microsoft earlier this week.

The service, which has been in beta trials over the past six months, includes Exchange, SharePoint and the Lync unified communications platform. 

 
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