Microsoft Limits Azure Instances – What Should You Do?

August 05, 2022
IT Microsoft

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As supply chain issues persist across the IT world, shortages have started hitting a new area: cloud services. Recent reports show that capacity issues are affecting Microsoft Azure customers globally – from Washington State to Europe and beyond. More than two dozen Azure data centers are experiencing limited server capacity, and Microsoft expects capacity to remain limited until early 2023.

The implications are noteworthy. Microsoft recently stopped taking new Azure clients seeking both UK-South and/or UK-West based instances. The vendor’s claim is that supply chain issues have limited their ability to build out new capacity in the UK’s two Azure regions. This is despite Microsoft recently opening a fifth Azure region in China while limiting any new instances in their Russian regions.

With these uneven policies evident, it’s difficult to predict where and how Azure capacity limitations may crop up next. What this uncertainty means for Azure customers (mainly those looking at moves to the cloud, but also those with existing workloads) is that a thorough planning review is needed. NPI recommends looking at a few key areas:

Check With Microsoft on Any Regional Azure Instance Limitations

Microsoft’s messaging behind recent Azure disruptions hasn’t been completely clear as far as how capacity issues may spread to other regions. It’s reasonable to assume that some customers may even consider opening new Azure instances in regions outside of their first preference depending on specific use cases. As a first step, NPI recommends engaging Microsoft to confirm capacity in any desired regions where expansion is likely.

Plan for Alternatives

Potential Azure capacity shortages may require looking at alternative cloud providers as well – particularly in situations where definite capacity constraints exist. Yes, switching cloud platforms is a significant process but it can be warranted in some instances. Certain use cases may have more feasible alternatives than others, such as using other virtual machine licensing from Microsoft to offload workloads or find other workarounds for capacity issues. This is dependent on existing internal infrastructure to a large extent.

Consider Accelerating Cloud Plans

It’s always smart to plan far in advance for capacity expansions, but even more crucial over the coming six to 12 months. NPI recommends considering the possibility of pulling future demands forward. Planning for cloud services is difficult enough but committing to uncertain utilization rates is a big risk. Having said that, locking in instances in regions with demonstrated capacity scarcity may be a plan to consider for risk management.

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