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Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges 775% for Teams in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing – Part 2
Per Microsoft’s blog updates to keep customers informed, a rather large correction was made surrounding increased cloud services usage. Stricken out was the incorrect information, with the corrected statistic to follow:
We have seen a 775 percent increase of our cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders.
- We have seen a 775 percent increase in Teams' calling and meeting monthly users in a one month period in Italy, where social distancing or shelter in place orders have been enforced.
Teams has seen a prolific uptick and as users can attest, service quality has started to decline. While COVID-19 certainly has a large role to play, Microsoft has been experiencing issues prior to the outbreak and outside of just the Teams platform.
Adobe, Walmart, and Chevron, for instance, have run into issues with capacity constraints in Azure, causing frustration. Issues with launching or updating applications, delays when attempting to add servers, degraded performance levels, and access to pre-specified types of servers are a few examples.
The likely cause of these issues is Microsoft’s network design. Microsoft aimed to have data centers set up in as many geographical regions as possible. From a commercial perspective, this had helped Microsoft win business by providing local servers that enabled them to bypass governmental legislation or corporate data restrictions. However, it has potentially spread resourcing thin, as these data centers have less capacity. Google and AWS employed the opposite strategy, which was to build few data centers in each geographic region but with higher capacities.
In thinking about capacity constraints, Microsoft boasts some of the largest customer names in the world. While large customers provide clout to the service, a large customer or two leveraging intensive workloads can consume large amounts of available resources.
The ongoing issues have certainly had an impact on organizations doing their due diligence to procure new or additional services. For some, it has altered the decision-making process. While there has been frustration, most organizations aren’t ready to pull the plug on Microsoft just yet. Microsoft is rushing to add extra servers and capacity in regions that have been affected as well as to re-evaluate any free offerings that could be constraining capacity moving forward.
- Expect capacity constraints in the short term, but help should be on its way, as Microsoft can scale quickly.
- Track and log downtime or issues that could come in necessary to attain service credits or refunds.
- When procuring further services, evaluate which providers may be more suitable in your region and which products you are looking to leverage.
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Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
Microsoft Announces Expansion of Azure Canadian Infrastructure, Offers Data Residency and High Availability
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges Over 700% in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing: How Could This Impact Your Organization?
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.
Microsoft has added six months of additional support to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709. This will help reduce pressure to upgrade and provide support in the interim as companies focus on business continuity plans due to COVID-19.
Microsoft’s deep pockets and Financing division can save your IT budget. If your Enterprise Agreement is coming up for renewal in the next six months, we will likely be in an economic downturn.
A year has passed since Microsoft converted Premier Support to Unified. High costs, little information, and few comparable options make it difficult for many organizations to decide whether to keep Unified Support, find an alternative, or drop it all together.