Talk about strange timing: Yesterday, I heard from a business user of Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform who said that his company had been taken down by an Azure storage outage that lasted for six hours on April 15.
I've asked Microsoft for more details about what specifically happened on April 15 that caused the reported downtime and am awaiting word back.
Update (4/22): Microsoft isn't saying much about the outage, other than to acknowledge it happened. The official response, delivered through a company spokesperson:
"At 6:40 AM PDT on April 15th, Microsoft became aware of an issue that affected some customers using the Windows Azure Storage service in the North Central and South Central US regions. This issue has been resolved. We regret any inconvenience the outage may have caused our impacted customers. As always, we will investigate the cause of this issue and take steps to better ensure it doesn’t happen again."
The user who contacted me -- who asked not to be named -- said he believed there was a misconfiguration during storage deployment that hit both North Central and South Central U.S. at the same time that affected the way the load balancers were sending traffic. The user wanted to know more details about exactly what happened and what Microsoft is doing to head off similar types of problems in the future.
I'm not posting this to downplay what's going on with Amazon's EC2. Nor am I doing so because I've heard Microsoft or Microsoft partners trying to use Amazon's EC2 outage as a way to paint Azure as superior. (In fact, one member of the Azure team tweeted today that he hoped no one at Microsoft would do such a thing.)