Cloud is great until hardware challenges let it down, as many Azure customers recently found out.
“Cloud is a limitless resource that can be scaled to meet growing demands,” many cloud providers tell their customers; that is until a surge in resource requirements even at some of the largest providers starts affecting the quality of service.
According to this recent article, more than two dozen Microsoft Azure data centres, including key sites in the USA, Europe and Asia, began operating at reduced capacity. It affected several hundred customers and their ability to access and use Azure-based solutions, which they rely on for their daily operations.
Why is this happening?
In March 2020, Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure buckled under the increased strain placed on it when the world shifted to remote work overnight. Although the effects were widespread, the world’s increased use of Teams collaboration tools and rapid shift to provide always-available Azure solutions to a remote workforce were identified as the culprits. Fortunately, these were remedied in a few weeks.
Now, more than two years since these initial challenges, again more than two dozen Azure data centres globally are facing similar challenges. And the results are pretty severe.
This is unfortunate for the many customers who are currently operating with limited server capacity, which is expected to remain this way until early 2023.
Why does it matter?
Cloud services – many times from the hyper scalers – are often sold under the premise that they offer “limitless resources” and can be scaled to meet current demands, which for the most part, is true. But many cloud service providers face the same fate: ongoing component shortages and more recently severe weather conditions are affecting service quality.
The weather may have caused an intermittent failure, but the inability to acquire new processors and other components has left Microsoft Azure in a position where the need for capacity is outpacing the existing infrastructure.
What can you do about it?
It is a natural tendency for many IT leaders to gravitate toward large cloud service providers with attractive offers.
When one hears of challenges like this one Microsoft faces, it becomes easier to understand why a mere 6% of the enterprise market budgeted for cloud services, but the shift to remote work solutions and always-on availability continues unabated.
At some point, every business will have to evaluate its strategy. Cloud infrastructure continues to provide efficiency, flexibility, scalability, security, and high availability, which unfortunately often come with tiered SLAs and a long list of additional charges for seemingly simple tasks and support.
Most also present tight agreements locking customers into solutions that might suffer the same hardware shortcomings.
This is a major factor in why Routed set up its vendor-neutral Cloud infrastructure products. Moving to the cloud means an organisation is effectively renting hardware, removing hidden costs and mitigating against failures, disaster recovery and the increasing maintenance costs associated with running owned hardware, and in an ideal scenario, as with Routed, there is support from the world’s leading VMware and Veeam specialists. Availability and hardware constraints are also a moot point with Routed since it provides access on the latest, warrantied infrastructure with mirrored redundancies. It provides the confidence that customers and partners need to make informed decisions about cloud migration of their infrastructure.
Azure has had its challenges highlighted in the press, while some professionals still cite the expense and escalating support costs in moving to the cloud as a barrier to entry. Yet, cloud infrastructure can save organisations a great deal over their lifetime and remove the risks and lack of efficiency that come with managing old, outdated hardware; unfortunately, this is not always the case with a hyper scaler.
Good cloud providers constantly refresh equipment, providing benefits to their customers, including continually improving performance, increased efficiency and exceeding high levels of availability, which is the foundation upon which Routed is built. And when you do consider Cloud, sometimes choosing a provider that is not a hyper scaler like Microsoft Azure means you get all the benefits offered by the infrastructure without the capacity challenges that come with onboarding millions of customers around the world. Because at the end of the day, if you are boarding a popular bus, it’s not always a great experience to board one that is already full.