Azure Outage, The File Cabinet Blog, Etc.

Got a mixed bag this weekend... I'm still busier than usual at work, so my thoughts have been more scattered lately. I'll just start typing and we'll see where it takes us.

First, Windows Azure. I just put this very blog on Azure not two days ago, and then yesterday they suffered a massive, embarrassing, world-wide secure storage outage. I say embarrassing because it was caused by an expired SSL certificate. That's right - a world-wide outage lasting hours that could have been prevented by someone taking 5 minutes to renew a certificate.

But let's get our facts straight here - Windows Azure didn't completely go down. It was specifically their secure storage services that went down, which I heard also affected provisioning of new resources, as well as a lot of unhappy customers who were running large storage and SQL operations over SSL that relied on that certificate. The outage didn't affect any HTTP or non-SSL traffic, so this blog just sat here relatively unscathed. Of course, I feel for those who put enterprise workloads up on Azure and did get hurt by the outage, but Azure is certainly not the first public cloud service to suffer a large-scale outage, and it won't be the last. But what makes this outage so particularly poignant is that it was so easily preventable with even the most basic of maintenance plans. Such as, I dunno, maybe a sticky note on someone's monitor reminding them to renew this immensely important SSL cert.

Here are a couple of screenshots, for the Schadenfreude:


Technet Forums


Azure Dashboard


Next thing on the list is pretty old news, but I never mentioned anything about it here. Ned Pyle, formerly of the Ask the Directory Services Team blog, has moved to Microsoft's home base and is now on the storage product team. He's still blogging though, on the File Cabinet blog. I don't know him well, but we have exchanged a few emails and blog comments about AD stuff and such. Up there with Russinovich in my opinion, he is one of my favorite tech people on the internet though, because his blogging is both entertaining and very educational. Lots of respect. Plus, check out the comments on his latest post here, where I correctly answer some AD arcana and get some validation from one of my heroes.

Now if I can just get the PFEs to make another one of those Microsoft Certified Master Active Directory posts, I'd be as happy as a civet eatin' coffee berries.

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