back to article Don't trust us? Try these Office 365 stats, says Microsoft

Microsoft will publish data on the reliability of Office 365 to boost confidence in the online service – and yet it also warned that more outages are possible. The software giant said in a blog titled Cloud services you can trust: Office 365 availability that it now plans to publish uptime numbers for Office 365. The figures …

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I can see why they changed the name from Big Piece O' I mean BPOS.

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Surprising?

Of course "outages could occur" - what are they going to do, claim 100% uptime?

This is not fallacy, it's mere fact.

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Re: Surprising?

In the last year, I have had 100% uptime because I use Office locally and not on the cloud.

Amazing advancement, don't you think?

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Re: Surprising?

I think the point is that Office _on my computer_ has 100% uptime. I also pay for it only once. Heck, I can even use it when my ISP is on one if its regularly recurring benders.

Quaint, I know.

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Kind of ignores the fact

That your Internet connection may also fail, so even if they had 100% up time then users would get somewhat less than that availability.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kind of ignores the fact

True. But there's 3G/4G dongles and mobile phones as hotspots.

I suspect the sort of people who really would want cloud office software are highly mobile people. Salesmen and so on.

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Re: Kind of ignores the fact

And do we not see regular articles hereabouts saying how such-and-such mobile network has gone tits up? It's one thing to optionally allow uses to save/load data from the cloud, it's something else entirely if the whole damned thing runs there.

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Great uptime stats, but that is not the reason we don't trust you Microsoft! I am sure the NSA loves digging through Office documents for TERRORISM! (tm). Until the US Government stops spying on it's own citizens and the rest of the world, I think their popularity is going to decline in favor of SECURE open source alternatives.

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I don't trust the cloud, period. I don't care whose service it is. I have my documents backed up daily. If something happens to my computer and backup, chances are I will be on the phone with my insurance company.

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Same here, I have my own nas, my own backup ran from that daily, and if I travel I carry a copy of all my data with me, just in case...

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M$ dying?

Zune

Win Mobile

Win RT

Win 2008

Xbone looking like its not long for this world.

Someone please tell me their server market is being chewed up by Linux....

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Happy

Re: M$ dying?

Their server market is being chewed up by Linux.

There, you asked.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: M$ dying?

It isn't though. Microsoft's share of the server market is still growing...

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Facepalm

Re: M$ dying?

May I mention LibreOffice here?

(Had to use LibreOffice earlier today to open a .docx file that MS Werd refused to open)

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Re: M$ dying?

What's the VBA equvilent like on Libre Office?

When these free office apps get a decent scripting language behind them then I am off.

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Maybe not dying, but in panic

Considering how Microsoft currently tries to follow every (semi) successful strategies other companies had, with products taking their worst ideas even further, they must be in a hell of a panic.

Microsoft doesn't seem to understand where their success lies: Legacy systems and people with no clue.

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Facepalm

Re: M$ dying?

When they try to push that TIPKAM/TIFKAM onto their MS Server 2012 users, they will loose their shirts.

All their products suck as of late, and they seem to care only about looks and App stores, and no one in the enterprise world gives a flying FAQ about either of those.

Example: Out of the 255 RADIUS attributes out there, MS has attribute replacement mechanisms for 3 of them, about the only thing MS Network Policy Server does well is pawning it's functions off on 3rd party solutions.

I would say it was nice knowing them, but it hasn't, at least not for about 7 years.

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Big Brother

Cloud services you can trust...

That has the backdoor wide open !

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Re: Cloud services you can trust...

Yep, a bit ironic that as MS finally nears the cusp of defeating the Insecurity demon that's been hounding them for years, the NSA pops up and declares, "You WILL be insecure by default!", and somebody tattles.

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"Office 365 Trust Center"

Are they trying to be funny, or ironic, because I am just not sure which?

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Headmaster

@Roger Greenwood - Re: "Office 365 Trust Center"

Wrote :- '"Office 365 Trust Center" Are they trying to be funny, or ironic, because I am just not sure which?'

I believe the term you are looking for is "oxymoron", like "War is Peace" in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

.

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Who cares what the uptime is? There's 3 elements, at least here - the computer; the internet connection and MS's cloud. If one of those elements fail, no work can get done. If you do your stuff locally then there's just 1 point of failure...the computer.

That's without even getting into trust and privacy issues. And the fact that once they have you by the bollocks prices may increase. Server uptime isn't the thing I'm mistrusting here. It's the concept; the company; MS's motivatons; and the cloud in general.

Of course, you do sometimes have to collaborate on a document and emailing back and forth is a bit cumbersome; but I have no need whatsoever for cloudy documents.

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Holmes

@ Moiety

Wrote :- "And the fact that once they have you by the bollocks prices may increase."

Agreed, but it is not just that. Everybody already has office software; even my 20 year old copy of WordPerfect does all I need in word processing. This is not good for Microsoft, as software does not wear out and you might never buy anything from them again.

But if MS can get you to throw away that software entirely and rent their cloud based service instead, they are assured of a steady, predictable income for evermore, even if they do not raise the price extortionately.

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What constitutes an outage?

Some SLAs are pretty lax.. Amazon has the worst SLA of any provider I have seen where they only consider things an outage if multiple zones are down and your not able to spin up resources in a remaining zone. Losing half of your infrastructure is not an outage for them, that's just your fault for not building it right.

Others the outages have to last for some period of consecutive time, many companies aren't proactive about outages and won't credit you unless you happen to report the outage to them.

The strictest SLA I have come across has been from Dynect(managed DNS), where they say an outage of longer than 15 seconds violates the SLA. I've never noticed an outage with them(in about 4 years), and I think they advertise 10+ years of 100% uptime or something like that. But when I read the SLA I just thought to myself, I don't even have a way to measure a 15 second outage.

At one company I was told a story about something that happened briefly before I started, there was a major DNS outage at their hosted DNS provider(I think 30-90mins), the provider did credit them back but the credit was something like $5 (relative to what they paid per month). The CTO at the time said "obviously we're not paying enough for this kind of service, I spent 10x more money on our consultants to track the source of the problem, not even taking into account lost business than we got back". I thought it was funny at least.

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Re: What constitutes an outage?

oh and one more tidbit .. UltraDNS is obviously another huge player in the space(the biggest I believe). Amazon(of all folks) used to use them exclusively. Then one day about 2 and a half years ago for some reason I did a WHOIS on amazon.com, and saw half the name servers were Dynect, the other half UltraDNS. I asked a friend at Dynect what was up with that and he said that UltraDNS had some sort of outage during a holiday season and Amazon decided to sign up with Dynect to provide extra redundancy.

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Re: What constitutes an outage?

Yeah, one of the dirty secrets of an IT world obsessed with SLAs is that most aren't worth the kilobytes of storage used to hold time.

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Office 365 is a tiered subscription service.

You will most likely have the full MS Office Suite resident on your PC and automatic synchronization of locally stored files with those stored in the cloud.

Your work will not come to a screeching halt if Sky Drive is down or you can't access the Internet.

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Anonymous Coward

True but not true

Some editions of O365 come with local apps but not all, if you haven't had the option of "streaming" office to your desktop you will struggle without a connection or if the servers are down. Also, if you rely on the exchange that comes with O365 you will struggle without a connection or server issues. However, people who criticise are missing the point, O365 is very good for small organisations who need email, a website and to be able to share stuff without having to invest in a server and someone to support it. It is an office out of the box, which is exactly what a lot of small organisation need.

Having set O365 up for a small business, one thing I will say is that it either works, or it doesn't, if you are unfortunate enough to need "support" be prepared for a bunch of robots who don't read the support request you raised and read off a script very often in that robotic fake american accent that makes you wonder if MS have aced the Turin test. After various issues with "Exchange" collecting emails from an external account, I gave up and decided it was far easier to stick with Outlook on the desktop. If you switch your mail exchange to O365 this issue probably goes away and you can still use exchange for shared calenders etc anyway.

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Desperate MS it seems

All a bit desperate, this move by Microsoft.

Oh BTW, why are we not moving to SCVMM and Hype-V,

because 50 clicks, 10 reboots, and numerous Powershell script runs = 5 clicks and two reboots in VMware.

Doomed!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Desperate MS it seems

"because 50 clicks, 10 reboots, and numerous Powershell script runs = 5 clicks and two reboots in VMware."

You mean compared to using vCentre - a $6K console...

For the Microsoft example - that would be without SCVMM + Orchestrator + App Manager - with those, it's the equivalent of the entire vSphere suite...at a fraction of the cost.

nb - All functionality that is an optional extra or expensive CPU license in vSphere like replication - is included for free in Hyper-V server....

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Megaphone

Congratulations

Not only will you have access to your companies communications on a daily basis so will the NSA.

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Anonymous Coward

Three words: bull fornicating feces.

I have small clients that use Office365, and they have had nowhere near 99.9% uptime during that period. 99% availability during business hours (2 "9s") is closer to the truth, including some outages that lasted nearly the entire business day. I'd be interested to know exactly how they define "uptime," as some of the outages were reliant on services that were down but might not be considered as part of Microsoft Office365 (authentication, etc). Office365 is still a very good deal for certain organizations, but to say their uptime is great is a flat-out, absolute lie.

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I'd be interested to know exactly how they define "uptime,"

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Easy, the operator turns around and checks that the green light is flashing for disk activity. If it is, everything is A-OK.

What was that you said ? You still can't connect to your storage space ? Have you tried rebooting the Internet ?

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