Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Microsoft adds load balancing as Azure availability stutters

A storage outage affected users in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Article comments

Microsoft struggled this week with multiple performance problems on its Azure cloud platform, while it also made the hosted load balancing service Traffic Manager generally available.

Microsoft's public cloud had a rough time over the past seven days, as the compute, management, SQL database and storage services were all affected.

The storage service was the hardest hit, suffering a full service interruption that started at 10:22 p.m. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) on Thursday and affected users in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Microsoft fixed the issue in about an hour. The problem seems to have had a knock-on effect on SQL database import and export functionality, whose performance was affected in the same regions at the same time.

Microsoft didn't immediately reply to questions about what caused the problems, or if the company is doing anything to improve reliability. An outage that takes down a service across the world is considered serious.

When it comes to downtime, cloud services are no different from regular data centers: outages will happen so enterprises have to be prepared. According to Microsoft, one way to lessen the impact of outages on Azure is to use Traffic Manager, which became generally available on Thursday.

It allows enterprises to do load balancing of traffic across multiple hosted Windows Azure services; if one goes down another can take over. They can run in the same data center or across different ones located around the world. In addition to better availability, Traffic Manager can be used to improve responsiveness by sending users to the closest data center, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft has also added BizTalk and a free version of Active Directory to the list of generally available services on Azure.

With Windows Azure Active Directory, IT staff can manage user access to cloud-based applications such as Office 365, Box, GoToMeeting, Dropbox, Salesforce.com and others. It also lets users access the services without having to log in to each one separately.

Microsoft is also working on Windows Azure Active Directory Premium, which is currently available as a public preview. It is built on top of the free version, but adds features such as group-based provisioning and lets users reset their passwords.

BizTalk Services makes it possible to extend on-premises applications to the cloud. It offers out-of-the box integration for SAP, Oracle EBS, SQL Server and PeopleSoft, and users can also connect with any HTTP, FTP or REST data sources, according to Microsoft.

Enterprises that have been using the previews of Active Directory, Traffic Manager and Biz Talk will be automatically transitioned to the generally available versions, and the new pricing for the latter two will take effect on Jan. 1.

Traffic Manager will then cost from US$0.75 per million DNS queries per month when choosing a pay-as-you-go plan. BizTalk Services is offered in four tiers: Developer, Basic, Standard, and Premium, which will cost between $0.13 and $8.06 per hour, again on a pay-as-you-go plan.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments

L4-7 said: What is traffic manager based on F5 Riverbed Stingray



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *