What happens when your cloud service provider suffers an outage? The question was on more than a few minds this Monday when Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service experienced a global outage that lasted approximately five hours. If you’re an Azure customer, or are considering migrating to Microsoft’s cloud services, here are a few things to consider:
Microsoft is on the hook for SLA penalties, but it will take some effort to claim them. Microsoft will pay a penalty for Azure downtime that falls outside of their Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements, but the process for collecting those penalties is cumbersome to say the least. Here’s an example:
Microsoft’s SLAs change often and without warning. Microsoft SLAs change frequently and customers are rarely notified directly. That means it’s up to customers to stay on top of changes. Keep in mind there are 20 different cloud computing services under the Azure platform, all of which have their own SLA.
You also need to understand terms for termination costs and transition assistance. Sometimes, it takes an outage for a company to realize the risk of IaaS is simply too great for them to bear, or that it’s time to switch vendors. Specifying termination costs and data transfer guidelines upfront in the IaaS sourcing process makes it far less painful and costly.
If you’re considering a move to the cloud, or extending more of your IT environment in that direction, check out this white paper on how to optimize service, pricing, and contract terms and conditions.