At this point, it’s well-known that Microsoft caught a lot of heat for BPOS outages in September 2010. In an effort to restore customer and channel confidence, Microsoft Online Services has launched a Service Health Dashboard designed to increase visibility into the status of all their cloud services and tools. Meanwhile, third-party software companies like Level Platforms and Nimsoft also offer monitoring tools for BPOS. Here’s the skinny.
On the highest level, the Service Health Dashboard is available for each of the three Microsoft Online Services data center regions: NOAM, EMEA, and APAC, according to the official blog entry. Click into the appropriate region, and find out if BPOS is up and running, as well as the greatest level of service degradation on the given day.
It also enables administrators to drill down and get more granular information, as well as get data on service availability for up to 35 preceding days. The blog entry says that Microsoft is soliciting feedback for future additions to the dashboard.
This is just another move to restore the IT world’s confidence in Microsoft’s cloud after those earlier problems.
Additional Monitoring OptionsMeanwhile, third-party software companies have introduced a range of tools for monitoring BPOS and other cloud environments.
Level Platforms since May 2009 has offered remote monitoring tools for BPOS. Somewhat similarly, Nimsoft in October 2009 launched a Unified Monitoring dashboard for private data centers and public cloud environments.
Lingering ChallengesEach of those moves holds promise for MSPs. But here's the bigger challenge: Having a dashboard can help MSPs to tell customers about BPOS problems. But ultimately, only Microsoft can keep BPOS up-and-running, leaving MSPs at the mercy of Microsoft.
Still, we suspect Microsoft will continue to improve BPOS reliability. September 2010 was a rough month for the service. On to October...
Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. And follow us via RSS,Facebook, Identi.ca; and Twitter. Plus, check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com.