Microsoft Turns to 'AIOps' for Better Azure Outage Announcements

Microsoft is promising to communicate better with organizations dealing with Azure service issues, including being more transparent about Azure service outages.

Microsoft advises IT pros to get Azure service outage information through the Service Health view within the Azure Portal, which requires IT personnel to have "owner, contributor, or reader access." Service Health specifically shows issues associated with an organization's use of Azure services.

Microsoft also has a publicly accessible Azure Status Web page, but it's more generalized to show big outages, yet its customers still tend to go to it, possibly because it once was "the only way to discover known platform issues," Microsoft explained.

Microsoft has streamlined its Azure outage reporting via artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This notion was explained in a June Microsoft announcement as "infusing AI into our cloud platform and DevOps process, becoming AIOps." Apparently, the AIOps term derives from analyst and consulting firm Gartner Inc., which used similar phraseology.

Microsoft's Monday announcement explained that AIOps "includes working towards improving automatic detection, engagement, and mitigation of cloud outages," but it's also being used "to notify customers of outages that may be impacting their resources." Notices sometimes get sent "in less than 10 minutes" to the Service Health portal via AIOps, it added.

Microsoft is targeting sending Azure service outage notifications via AIOps processes in "less than 15 minutes" without requiring human confirmation.

Oddly, users of the Azure DevOps service don't use the Azure Portal, so Microsoft set up a separate, publicly accessible DevOps status page for those users.

Microsoft recommended that IT pros should set up Service Health Alerts. These alerts will send notifications about Azure service issues via the Azure Monitor portal.

Microsoft also has an Azure Status Twitter feed, but it's only available for approved followers. Microsoft is much more transparent and responsive with its Microsoft 365 Status Twitter feed, where service outages get publicly described, often in response to posted complaints by subscribers to Microsoft 365 services.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.