Microsoft’s Cloud Goes Dark on Leapday

by InvestorPlace Staff | March 1, 2012 11:31 am

“Cloud” technology has been a red-hot trend for business software. It tends to be cheaper and more effective because the applications are connected to the Internet rather than an individual computer or corporate network.

And investors love the business. Just look at the hefty valuations of cloud operators like NetSuite (NYSE:N[1]) and (NYSE:CRM[2]).

But even the traditional software players are getting aggressive, such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT[3]). In fact, its Azure system has proven to be quite successful. Then again, Microsoft has some key advantages, such as a massive global customer base and a large ecosystem of developers.

But unfortunately, Azure is far from perfect. Yesterday, the service had a major outage[4] across the globe, and Microsoft certainly had a tough time bringing things back online (the outage lasted eight hours).

It’s true that cloud outages happen from time to time. Last year, Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM[5]) BlackBerry service went down for three days. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN[6]) also had several outages of its widely used hosting system.

Yet as more critical software goes into the cloud, providers need to ensure that they can avoid any outages. The investments to get there won’t be cheap — but they could prove critical in making sure the cloud trend continues to grow.

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