back to article Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down

Microsoft scrambled to get its Office 365 service back online after the cloud productivity suite was hit with a mid-day outage. Loads of people reported that, at around 1245 PT, access to the service went out. Microsoft confirmed shortly after it was having problems, and said it was looking into the matter. Subscribers in New …

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Cloud just means...

Somebody else's computer that you have NO control over, and can go down at any time leaving you helpless.

I heard something about eggs and a basket somewhere...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud also means...

Running code remotely, even when there's absolutely no benefit over running locally. Except totalist control over tenants.

See hydraulic empire.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud just means...

But here's the sad irony. As more and more people move to this model, when one subscriber is down, they're all down. No finger pointing about how cheap/dumb/careless you are to use O365 (or any other cloud provider) and how the in-house service you use is still up, because the guy that would point that out is down too. So for MS/Amazon/Salesforce etc, the more people in the cloud the more immunity from criticism their subscribers get. I predict a no-work-gets-done-anywhere day in the not-too-distant future, and everyone will just shrug. Someone start sharpening the pencils.

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Re: Cloud just means...

Cloud:

A computing service that signifies you do not know where any outage is, who is responsible for it, who else but you or your organization accesses the data on it, but nobody wants to do without.

Complete Loss Of Uncontrollable Data ?!

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Re: Cloud just means...

<<Complete Loss Of Uncontrollable Data ?!>>

Nice touch! That should be added to TITSUP.

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Re: Cloud just means...

Given the pro on prem kit these comments are showing, I am expecting massive downvotes.

Having worked with Cloud products for near 10 years now, I can say that in general they are much more reliable and lower cost than an on prem equivalent. Sure you cannot stroke the tin, though you do get a much better infrastructure from a company that invests millions/billions and has SLA's around it all than the bit of tin you got from the reseller round the corner.

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Re: Cloud just means...

"SLA's around it all"

Do those SLAs actually prevent things from going down?

Do they actually provide compensation for the real costs to the client when they do go down?

Do those trying to fix things when they go down have your, the client's interests as their prime motivation or are they just working to the SLA?

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Re: Cloud just means...

But then, the SLA just means that if they don't don't meet it, they'll throw you a scrap like give you a subscription credit for the downtime, will never account for any loss of business due to the outage

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Re: Cloud just means...

Cloud is more swings and roundabouts; it shouldn't be your belt and braces. What are the advantages, disadvantages and rationales behind using Cloud for your business? Is it appropriate? If it's an advantage, appropriate, apposite and not business critical, it's a no brainer, go for it, it's not going to kill you, and it will probably help you. If it's critical to your business, not apposite, not appropriate and confers no advantage, do it on-prem - that's also a no-brainer.

The real sticking point is when the advantages are small but present, it could be achieved either on-prem OR in-cloud with relatively little difference in cost, and where there's ambiguity about appropriateness. The key deciding factor then is how critical is that function to your business?

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Is it just me...

...or did the Down Director infographic look like something from Threads or The Day After?

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Re: Cloud just means...

"Having worked with Cloud products for near 10 years now, I can say that in general they are much more reliable and lower cost than an on prem equivalent".

Perhaps in general but NOT for us. Since moving to Office365 last year (not my idea) we have had multiple DAILY problems. Users are requested to sign in over and over, random "the network cannot be accessed, try again later", endless connection issues like this. Simple things don't work, like clicking a PDF attachment and it opens with your PDF viewer. When the wheels fall off, we can do nothing but wait for Microsoft to figure it out. It's a crap experience for my users, who don't trust it.

Previously we ran it all from here and it worked brilliantly, daily, for years. When it broke, we fixed it quick and back in business. Properly maintained, on-premises kicks the crap out of clown, sorry, cloud offerings.

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Re: Cloud just means...

it goes down faster than a Geodie chick's knickers on a Saturday night. Some manglement here decided to go full-365, and the poor sods tasks with doing the demos report that it is down for 1/3 of their _planned, with MS_ demos. That's an "enterprise" contract, too.

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Re: Cloud just means...

What cloud services were you working with (not the same as subscribing to and relying on) in 2007?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud just means...

"Having worked with Cloud products for near 10 years now, I can say that in general they are much more reliable and lower cost than an on prem equivalent. "

OK so far, though not exactly detailed.

""I am expecting massive downvotes.""

OK. Now, why might that be?

Normally I'd be courteous and ask whether you might have an interest to declare. But you've helped us out so much already that the question doesn't even need asking, thank you:

"I am on the GFI sales team though within the MSP "MAX" product range based in Dundee, cloud is really well received though if you are looking for something to manage clients as a support company instead of end users within your organisation you want GFIMAX Remote management, Cloud was built to be the "Sys admin" MAXRM."

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/05/06/gfi_cloud_review/

Let the downvotes continue, now for twice as many reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud just means...

We moved to it 3 months ago after an 18 month trial with 50 users and we've now got 500 users on it out of 900 and they prefer it. The helpdesk prefer it as they're dealing with less local install issues or MS apps. The purchase dept like it 'cos the licensing issues are a lot simpler to deal with. The IT techs love it 'cos they can use an O/S they like, they're not beholden to an Office install, we have dekstops of Linux, Solaris, OSX and Windows and they can all use the browser based Office apps and share docs. The biggest advantage to users is that they haven't got faff about with VPNs and RSA keys to get to their mails or docs while out of the office, they simply jump on a secure app on their phones or laptops, or they use a public browser to get emails quickly. The management love 'cos it they can bother the staff, the staff love it 'cos they know their managers have no excuses not to answer emails and get decisions made. Alright once in a blue moon it goes offline but cloud services are still in the learning stage, and I would say that cloud is not for everyone but basic stuff like word docs, spreadsheets and emails worked out well for us.

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@Babbit5

"Having worked with Cloud products for near 10 years now,"

You're a cloud salesman. You're misleading El Reg readers, now or in your previous posts - take your pick. Downvotes deserved.

"you do get a much better infrastructure from a company that invests millions/billions and has SLA's around it all than the bit of tin you got from the reseller round the corner."

As others have noted here already, SLAs are worth their weight in gold. IE worthless. Competent delivery is worth more than an SLA but competent delivery doesn't come easy, doesn't come free with an SLA, and isn't necesarily immediately available by just outsourcing the business to some cheapskate outsourcer which now calls itself a cloud outfit. And by definition, cloud outfits are cheapskate - cheap is what they're selling.

As others will have noticed round here already, MS UK Azure sales opportunities are currerntly being referred to MS Canada capacity, right? Won't be the first, won't be the last, won't just be MS.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/04/microsoft_azure_capacity_woes_hit_uk_customers/

On the other hand, how long does it take to get a small vanload of servers and storage from a random Dell/HP/whatever boxshifter?

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Re: @Babbit5

Wow, so all sales people are bad right?

Yes I work in sales, though I trained in IT/Networking and that is where I started, and while in Sales I am of the technical sales, so giving demos and the like.

Hate sales all you want, but without sales people then nothing would progress and most people would not have jobs, also the best sales people actually tell the truth, especially in a SaaS/Cloud model since if you sell on a lie people can cancel right away so it would only bite you in the arse.

Now does physical kit have a place and have pros? Yes. Does that mean Cloud is pointless and bad? No, Somethings are just better suited for the cloud and having physical systems for them is counter intuitive. Tech progresses, learn to move with it, or be left in the past.

Also notice how I don't hide behind Anonymous coward?

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Re: @Babbit5

Wow, Babbit5. You've really drunk the koolaid, haven't you?

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Take home message

We'll always have LibreOffice.

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Happy

Re: Take home message

I got 365 problems, but LibreOffice ain't one!

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Re: Take home message

OpenOffice just silently weeps in the corner, remembering the days when it was everybody's baby. Now it just sits in the corner, waiting to die.

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Re: Take home message

IMHO OO can thank Oracle for it's demise. Java will soon be keeping it company.

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and as usual it will go down in their report as "a few users" experienced minor logging in issues.

for those of you not yet using 365, 365 is the number of days it does not work or has some issue.

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Microsoft has refused to say what caused today's outage.

In fact they will put all their effort into pretending it didn't happen. That's what everybody is supposed to do. The cloud will never work smoothly without collective illusions.

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FAIL

Users?

Customer had 365 issues today, and the O365 portal reported that '73 users may be affected', which is pretty impressive as they've only got 20 seats.

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Coat

Re: Microsoft has refused to say what caused today's outage.

Illusions..: :-)

I've looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow

It's cloud illusions I recall

I really don't know clouds at all

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Re: Users?

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 2, 4, 5.

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Pint

Re: Illusions

Have a pint for that.

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Anonymous Coward

Love the smell of CloudFog in the morning...

Especially when its from an arrogant corp like M$ who believe they're about to become Facebook II through slurping low-hanging-fruit users of Win10...

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Why Office 365 isn't down much.

Office 365 is a top priority at Microsoft. I'm mean if it goes down for more than 24 hours they have to rebrand it as Office 364. And that would be expensive.

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Re: Why Office 365 isn't down much.

Ah - but isn't it down to 34something now?

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Trollface

Re: Rebranding

Nah, they wouldn't call it Office 364.

It would either be Office Cumulus (as in Win 98 -> XP) or Office 367 (as in Win 8 -> Win 10).

You were just being silly. If they were to rebrand it to reflect how it actually performs, it would be Office Piece Of Unreliable Crap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rebranding

I think we're down to Office 358 by now!

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Re: Rebranding

I thought the number was referring to the number of directions that the applications could be approached from, you know, like the current trend for performance feedback. It provides 365 degree coverage, i.e. a complete circle (did they ever get that floating point bug fixed?)

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Childcatcher

Amused cackle

This is why effectively centralised, subscription (rentier), internet resources are stupid-fragile slavery, and people should not to use them for critical stuff where downtime can't be worked around using local resources; much like centralised (fragile) SVN is inferior to local and distributed (anti-fragile) git!

The icon because the children may later have to deal with more of this rentier fragility and slavery, and may have less local fall-back resources, because of this subscription-business-model trend by corporations.

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Numpties.

Remind me again why I should trust a company with centralized control of my data ... Especially when that company spent decades trying to move control of the personal desktop from mainframe data centers to the personal computer?

No, thank you. I'll keep it in-house. For values of "in-house" that include a couple continents. Honestly, it's not all that hard to roll your own.

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Re: Numpties.

"Remind me again why I should trust a company with centralized control of my data"

You should trust them because the penalty clauses in the contract make it really bad for them if you suffer any kind of outage and so they'll make every conceivable effort to deliver. Just like any other kind of service or product that you buy in from outside, in other words. Businesses have been doing this for years and I really don't see what the fuss is about.

Obviously it would be bonkers if you didn't have any such clauses in the contract ...

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Re: Numpties.

>Obviously it would be bonkers if you didn't have any such clauses in the contract ...

Ohhh, so, Microsoft is paying damages to all affected, then ?

Thought not ...

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Re: Numpties.

Ken, we''re talking Redmond here, remember? Have you read the fine print in their contract? I have. That's why I don't trust them. HTH, HAND.

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Re: Numpties.

You should trust them because the penalty clauses in the contract make it really bad for them if you suffer any kind of outage and so they'll make every conceivable effort to deliver.

Trouble is enforcement and getting timely recompense, ie. before your business (or their business) collapses. The current HBOS fraud case gives a good idea of the time lines: 2002~2007 fraud against small business customers committed, concerns raised, Police investigation started 2010, trial of 6 people commences 2016 with convictions Jan 2017, it only now that compensation for the victims is being discussed, yet it is likely these will also involve court proceedings so it could be a few more years before victims receive any monies... Also bear in mind in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash HBOS itself failed and only survived by Lloyds taking on all its business and liabilities...

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Re: Numpties.

You shcould trust them because if the penalty clauses in the contract madeke it really bad for them if you suffer any kind of outage and so they'dll make every conceivable effort to deliver.

FTFY

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Stop

Re: Numpties.

Jake (and others), did you read Ken's final paragraph? If so, read it again. Then engage brain.

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Re: Numpties.

Obviously it would be bonkers if you didn't have any such clauses in the contract ...

I've yet to see any large-scale cloud deployment that offered *any* degree of customisation in the SLA or contract..

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Re: Numpties.

yah, they have penalty clauses.

it's like knowing your next of kin can sue after you're dead.

Doesn't mean d*ck to me.

here, we spent million$ to go from an Exchange system central to each Agency to a O365 setup for all Agencies. But it's actually "local" as it all physically lives central to most Agency locations. So basically it's Exchange centralized.

So pretty much what we had the capability of BEFORE but it's new, shiny and "cloudy" for millions of dollars invested.

We shoulda called our on-site server room a "cloud" as it was just as "cloudy" as our current O365 setup.

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Re: Numpties.

"Ohhh, so, Microsoft is paying damages to all affected, then ?"

Have a "Whooosh!" on me. You can share it with the other down-voters.

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Re: MS fucked up again?

sadly it happens so much it's like making fun of special needs kids who have balance or coordination issues. the failures of one product or the other are almost ongoing.

the humor comes from having stories like these to forward to the O365 Evangelicals who claimed that this sort of thing would happen LESS than on a "traditional" locally administered system.

The excuses they generate are where the humor lies.

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Our university switched to Office 365 from maintaining their own email servers last year. The resulting performance and reliability issues would embarass a company with any sense of shame.

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Really? I've been using O365 on a US tenancy for about 2.5 years and can count on one hand the number of issues i've had, and half of those were to do with in-house ADFS issues.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm at a UK University and we recently switched to O365. Nowhere near as good as our own on premise Exchange was. Many of us wish we could switch back to on premise, but that would mean management admitting they made a mistake.

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