Credits Coming for Cloud Outage

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 02:02 PM gHale

Customers who lost access to Microsoft Azure cloud storage services last Friday need not file an outage report with Azure in order to be eligible for service credits, according to Microsoft.

The worldwide cloud outage was due to Microsoft’s failure to renew an SSL certificate, and that expired certificate resulted in customers being unable to connect to certain Azure Storage services that rely on use of SSL-encrypted transport to protect data.

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So, under terms of the service-level agreement (SLA) for the Azure Storage services, customers must notify Azure customer support within five business days, which means Friday.

But because the problem was so widespread Microsoft is going to credit customers even if they don’t file a report.

“Given the scope of the outage, we will proactively provide credits to impacted customers in accordance with our SLA,” according to a Microsoft blog post written by Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure Business & Operations. “The credit will be reflected on a subsequent invoice.”

The SLA calls for a 10% credit for service uptime that falls below 99.9%. If uptime falls below 99%, the service credit jumps to 25% of Azure Storage charges for the month, according to the SLA Microsoft publishes for the service.

Microsoft says it is still trying to figure out what the underlying problem was that allowed the SSL certificate to expire and will post its findings on the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

Microsoft says it noted the problem at 3:44 p.m. Eastern Friday and confirmed the service was fully restored at 11 p.m. Eastern Saturday.

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