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Office 365 ProPlus silent patch signals trouble in paradise

Trouble could be looming for Microsoft after a silent patch locked Office 365 users out of their applications for days. What does the issue mean for customers operating Office 365?

A silent patch made a lot of noise for Microsoft after it locked Office 365 ProPlus users out of their applications for nearly 12 days. Despite the inconvenience, the bigger issue may have been that the update that caused the silent patch ruckus was installed without warning.

"That's actually even more pervasive when you look at software as a service nowadays, especially in the cloud to where a new feature just shows up," said Bill Peldzus, vice president and senior architect at Cloud Technology Partners. "Nobody asked you if you wanted it or not. It just basically shows up and the vendors think that's the best for you."

David Linthicum spoke with Peldzus about the Office 365 debacle and other cloud computing topics. Other items for debate include:

1. Is the Office 365 silent patch a governance issue?

"The great thing about cloud computing is you can centrally fix things … but you can also centrally screw things up," said Linthicum. Does this mean Microsoft is in trouble?

"I am not a big fan of anything happening automatically unless I have consciously said, 'Yeah, go ahead and do that behind the scenes,'" said Peldzus. (8:30-13:30)

2. Linthicum observes clients moving to cloud are paying more attention to where cloud centers are located. Why is location so important to customers? Peldzus thinks restrictions on types of data and where it can go are a factor. Why aren't major providers such as Amazon more geographically distributed with data centers? Peldzus believes location means different things to different providers. (2:00-8:20)

3. Customers are leveraging managed services as a buffer between themselves and cloud providers. Is that the best option? Peldzus doesn't think so.

"I can't tell you how many of my clients over the past year or two have used some form of managed services and are not happy with it," said Peldzus. Does the problem lie in the service-level agreement? (13:30-21:50)

Next Steps

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This was first published in August 2014

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