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Microsoft coughs up compensation for Azure cloud cock-up

Embarrassing SSL cert snafu probe launched

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Microsoft has vowed to compensate users of its Azure cloud after an expired SSL certificate took the service offline.

Victims of the Blue Sky of Death, which lasted 12 hours, will get credits as per their service-level agreement (SLA), the Redmond giant confirmed on its website.

Windows Azure was knocked offline globally because Microsoft made the schoolboy error of forgetting to renew a security certificate. The online storage system collapsed, causing parts of the software titan's cloud to fail, eventually leading to Xbox Live going down.

Availability was mostly back by 1am PST on Saturday, although it wasn't until 8pm that Microsoft was able to confirm full availability worldwide.

"Given the scope of the outage, we will proactively provide credits to impacted customers in accordance with our SLA," wrote the general manager of Azure business and operations Steven Martin.

While compensation will be welcome, users will be more concerned with how Microsoft managed to trip up on such a basic error. Martin said that the company will do a full root cause analysis (RCA) to figure out how the SSL certificate expiry was allowed to happen.

"The RCA will be posted on this blog as soon as it is available," he wrote. ®

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