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Two Office 365 outages in five days serve as reminders of cloud 'chaos'

The second Office 365 outage in five days reminded customers of the potential pitfalls of moving email to the cloud.

Downtime may be part of the deal when it comes to cloud computing, but the second Microsoft Office 365 outage in five days tested the patience of IT pros and consultants.

Reports of the most recent Office 365 outage first emerged on Twitter yesterday morning, and Microsoft later confirmed that some Office 365 customers were experiencing intermittent email access. That came on the heels of another outage Nov. 8, when customers experienced delays in receiving their email.

"It is a reminder of [Software as a Service] SaaS solution outages and the chaos it can cause," said Ezekiel Brooks, president and senior solution architect with Orlando, Fla.-based E. Brooks Consulting Inc., in an email.

IT consultants such as Brooks are feeling the pain from these Office 365 outages. Many have pitched Office 365 to clients as a more secure and reliable email option, but these recent developments are not helping further their cause. Just yesterday, while waiting to receive an email attachment from a client, Brooks recommended moving from an on-premises software installation to Office 365.

"Oh, the irony!" he said.

The Office 365 outages also help further the point of those who remain skeptical about going all-in with Microsoft's cloud service. Office 365 is a name that many recognize, but Microsoft is still fairly new to this game, compared to other hosting providers that have offered cloud-based Exchange for years. As such, Microsoft's cloud suite may not be the best option for those interested in moving Exchange email to the cloud.

"If anything, this boosts the credibility for other Exchange providers, who can now boast that they do it better than Microsoft," said Carl Brooks, an analyst with New York City-based 451 Research.

Editor's note: Microsoft's official statement on the Office 365 outages can be found here.

Let us know what you think about the story; email site editor Matt Gervais.

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