Azure, the cloud computing platform created by Microsoft, surprised its competitors by excelling in its wide range of services and quality. However the hype for Azure (formerly Windows Azure) didn’t last for long. The Azure services in the year 2014 had widespread outages all over the world and their business drastically dropped. Users and organisations that were wholly dependent on Azure couldn’t get access of their data.
All this major hurdles were caused because of presence of a bug in the code.
Microsoft does not want lose its sales and reputation with the dent caused by Azure. Microsoft has already been a sufferer after their Tablet, Microsoft Surface, didn’t fare well in the consumer market. Microsoft had to write down almost $1 billion in unsold inventory due to flop of Surface tablet.
According to Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer, Mark Russinovich, the major shutdown was caused due to release of untested code of Azure in to consumer market. The new update was tested for one of the services, Azure Table but not for Azure Blob. This caused the updated software to perform in a hysterical manner. Also the update was released for various regions all at once instead of following the usual procedure of releasing the update region by region.
Mark Russinovich also stated that the errors are also caused due to human errors and hence wants to automate most of the procedures that affect proper functioning of Azure.
During the release of the update the developer working on it made the new release available for blobs and tablets and this was a violation of their policy. This caused disruption of Azure’s services worldwide. Hence learning from their mistakes, Microsoft has set up ‘Development System’ which will take care of the above problem instead of letting the developer handle them.
Most of the times there is an opportunity for fixing issues just by rolling back the new build release. Roll back meaning the newest update which is suspected to be unstable will be restored to recent most update which did not contain any bugs. However if users across the world have created data after installing the latest update which had bugs in it, the roll back procedure cannot be done as it will erase all the fresh data that the users have built over time. Hence a ‘call roll forward’ technique is utilised, in which the bug is removed and the data is saved.
So if you had a hard time using the Azure services, fret not. All is well.