A security certificate glitch on the Windows Azure cloud platform caused an outage that resulted in more than 12 hours of downtime on Tuesday, leading many to believe that the problem was a result of Leap Day, which only occurs once every four years.
Microsoft published a statement on DataCenterKnowledge.com stating that the issue was discovered on Feb. 28 at 5:45 PM PST. Windows Azure fixed the problem quickly for most customers, but several regions in the US and North Europe were offline much longer.
Experts cite this as a good example of the need for cloud providers to update security certificates in order to prevent such downtime from occurring.
In a statement issued to The Web Host Industry Review Vineet Jain, CEO of cloud storage provider Egnyte, said: “The outage that occurred today with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform can be crippling and cost millions if not billions of dollars, but more importantly highlights the down side of a pure cloud strategy in the enterprise. While we certainly don’t relish these moments, the downtime can be significantly mitigated if organizations were to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. By maintaining a behind the firewall presence and syncing that to the public cloud, companies are creating an insurance policy just for these situations. At the same time they can keep downtime to a minimum and insure their employees are as productive as possible in an emergency situation like this.”
There is still some speculation as to how much of Azure’s customer base was affected by the outage, but it is clear that the recently-launched G-Cloud store in the UK was hit. G-Cloud reported the outage on Twitter at 7:11 AM, and their service was up and running again by 11:37 AM.
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