This month’s botched upgrade to Hotmail by Microsoft is an example of one of the risks of cloud computing that I’ve written about in the past, but Microsoft took it to a whole new level. This article from InfoWorld is almost comical in cruel sort of way. It’s ironic that Microsoft was suggesting that people turn off other Micorosoft client side apps, like messenger to fix the issue. I doubt this was their vision for cloud computing. When I wrote about the risk of receiving an upgrade that you might not want or like, I wasn’t really talking about upgrades that actually start breaking things and turn into a nightmare for your support staff. This is an indication that a cloud service provider isn’t fully mature.
If nothing else, this serves as an example of how things can go bad (really bad) with what might look like a simple cloud service upgrade. One of the benefit of cloud computing are that upgrades to all your clients are easy, fast simple, and painless. The downside is that untested upgrades can initiate a total meltdown in a just a few seconds. The lesson is simple, ask your cloud service provider if you can help test the next release before it’s released to your organization, it could save you a lot of headache. I don’t like this because it starts to erode the value proposition of cloud computing. How about, partner with a mature cloud computing vendor. :)
- Chris Claborne