As you know, Microsoft is steadily improving their Windows Azure, or Cloud OS, platform, and they are making an earnest effort to provide features and functions that mirror their on-premise counterparts. Eventually, there will be very little different between on-premise and Microsoft Cloud-based services. And, of course, users don't care which one is being utilized, as long as they can get email, surf the Internet, and access business files.
But, just as if all business IT services were still running locally, end-users will still seek out the IT group when email, Internet, and file access is unavailable and *ahem* require them to fix their problems. When the services are running in the company's datacenter, a quick call, or glance at a monitoring tool, can initiate service and get the issues resolved. But, as more and more business services run in the Microsoft Cloud, how do you know when there are issues?
Fortunately, Microsoft has put together a Windows Azure Service Dashboard where IT and end-users can visit to check the current health status of Windows Azure services.
The dashboard can currently be separated by Americas, Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or you can view all services at once. You can also grab the RSS feed for each service, further increasing your chance that you'll be notified of a service outage quickly.
The dashboard is located here: Windows Azure Service Dashboard
Here's what the Dashboard looks like:
And, when there is an outage or issue with a service, you can hover over the status icon for more information:
Interestingly enough, I was made aware of this dashboard today due to reported outages, first for Google services on the East coast of the US, and then Windows Azure outages. The Windows Azure outage was reported on the Windows Azure email discussion list.