SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Matt Brunk | October 02, 2015 |

 
   

Cloud Down

Cloud Down Outages will happen. That makes your job knowing what to expect when they do.

Outages will happen. That makes your job knowing what to expect when they do.

Last week's Microsoft Skype outage, which lasted about 15 hours, can give enterprises that are adopting cloud services some idea of the risk they might be taking on -- and can serve as an important lesson for everyone.

As widely reported, some Skype users experienced technical issues on that knocked the service offline on Monday, Sept. 21. In the official Microsoft "Big Blog" post on the outage, Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for Skype and Skype for Business at the company, wrote:

    We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused to our users, and appreciate your patience while we addressed the issue.

    Our Apologies.

He noted, however, that Skype for Business was not impacted.

Since Skype use comes without a service-level agreement (SLA), an apology is all users get. And, really, that's all they can expect of cloud technology on the cheap.

As you consider cloud services, begin by determining whether you can get by with a a free service or whether a paid model better fits your needs for reliability (among other factors). And for paid cloud services, make sure you understand the outage clauses within your SLAs. How long does the service need to be offline before the provider issues a credit, and would that credit effectively cover the cost of the business disruption? Have you assessed those potential costs? You should.

Is your provider keeping you in the dark or will it reveal the scope of the outage? Not knowing the nature of the problem or when to expect resolution makes people crazy.

With cloud services, the fixes or resolutions aren't in your control -- and that can be frustrating for some as well. You can have a rock-solid SLA, but it won't provide any relief -- regardless of how well your contract is written or what language you use, you remain at the mercy of the provider's ability to fix the technology and restore service. When this doesn't happen in a timely fashion, then you need to know how to respond.

Remove the words "Skype" and "Microsoft" in this article and replace them with the name of any cloud service and provider. What's in place in your cloud, and how will your services be affected by an outage? Unfortunately, many times companies don't address these key concerns because their cloud services go untested. Just because a contract says a backup is in place, that doesn't mean you don't need to test it. How else will you know that the contingency service to the primary cloud actually works?

Perhaps expectations aren't always what they should be, but enterprises need to be aware of what they actually are. Because, in the grand order of the cloud, "cloud down" is not a happy thing to face -- not on a Monday and definitely not on a Friday afternoon.

Follow Matt Brunk on Twitter and Google+!
@telecomworx
Matt Brunk on Google+





COMMENTS



August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.