In the corporate technology world, executives have been known to explain outages vaguely leaving customers scratching their heads. In the case of Microsoft Azure’s recent troubles which included significant downtime for Visual Studio online, Microsoft Vice President and Product Unit Manager Brian Harry wrote about the outage on his blog.
Harry didn’t hold back on his comments as he bluntly wrote, “We’ve gotten sloppy. Sloppy is probably too harsh. As with any team, we are pulled in the tension between eating our Wheaties and adding capabilities that customers are asking for.” Harry continued, “In the drive toward rapid cadence, value every sprint, etc., we’ve allowed some of the engineering rigor that we had put in place back then to atrophy — or more precisely, not carried it forward to new code that we’ve been writing. This, I believe, is the root cause.” The blog goes on for nearly 1,800 words giving a clear, cogent breakdown of what went wrong. Although the outage was unfortunately, many analysts have praised Harry for his direct explanation of the situation.
In other Azure news, Microsoft recently rolled out Azure Search Preview. The TechNet article explaining the new search preview function mentions that “Customers do not have to worry about the complexities of full-text search or deploying, maintaining or managing a search infrastructure.” TechNet goes on to mention that the new search feature can be implemented “from any platform or development environment.”
Microsoft is an organization that’s transitioning quickly. Azure cloud services are seeing some of the strongest sign-on rates and cloud market leader Amazon is starting to feel the pressure. With Microsoft approach of no-bull explanations combined with their ability to always be releasing new features onto their IaaS offering, it is no wonder that Microsoft’s stock price has risen from the $33 range a year ago into the $45 range today. Many analysts suggest that this steady rise is squarely attributed to Azure and Microsoft’s commitment to the cloud.