Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud: Dark for a Day

Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud: Dark for a Day

Microsoft Windows AzureWindows Azure -- Microsoft's cloud platform -- went dark for nearly 24 hours last weekend. Let's keep the darkness in perspective: Azure is not a production network yet; it's merely a test cloud environment that Microsoft is still optimizing. But 22 hours of darkness doesn't inspire peace of mind in cloud systems. And I'm starting to think that -- backed by loads of open source applications -- is the cloud to beat.

The Windows Azure team posted a blog describing what went wrong, what was affected, and how Microsoft plans to prevent similar outages. Rival clouds -- from Google and Amazon -- have also suffered outages, notes InformationWeek.

But the buzz around Amazon Web Services (including the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Amazon Simple Storage Services) seems to be growing louder. We've blogged quite a bit about solutions providers and software developers (such as Levementum, OpenBI and JumpBox) pushing open source applications into Amazon's cloud.

We'll discuss the IT channel's march toward cloud services more extensively during The VAR Guy: Live webcast on April 15. (Details will surface soon on

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