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Microsoft apologises for yet another BPOS outage

Microsoft has issued an apology for yet another outage affecting Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) customers. The outage, which took place July 19th, caused intermittent access to customer’s emails.

“On 19 July beginning at approximately 8:30 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), some BPOS customers in North America began experiencing intermittent access to email,” Microsoft stated. Microsoft resolved the issue about two hours later and stated, “..the service is now functioning normally. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this incident may have caused some of our customers.”

The BPOS health dashboard, which displays any problems, indicated that everything was working well. Unfortunately, the health dashboard was wrong. Outlook was unable to connect to a server, which resulted in intermittent access to emails for many customers.

Microsoft had a variety of outages back in May which were related to its Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS). The uncertain nature of cloud service availability by even the most reliable of providers highlights the need for a hybrid strategy for maintaining continuous productivity without any downtime.

“What a totally useless tool,” said one customer on a Microsoft forum. “Finally – over 2 hrs later the dashboard is updated. In their last email regarding the June 22nd outage they promised that in the future, the dashboard would reflect more in “real time”, So much for that promise,” said another customer.

With recent Business Productivity Online Suite outages, many consumers were hoping that Office 365 would be eliminate any negative experiences that took place during the outages.

“Office 365 with 2010 technology was designed from the ground up to be multi-tenanted – cloud, on-premise and hosted environments – and by the nature that it is designed to work in those environments it will be more resilient,” said Microsoft Cloud UK Lead, Peter King.

“However, I have to say outages are going to happen, but what is important is how you deal with them and the SLAs that you put round it. If it happens, we have SLAs that give money back [to customers] if we have an outage,” King said.

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