As the global workforce retreated to their homes as a result of COVID-19, Microsoft Azure saw a 775% upsurge in demand for their cloud services. As a result, they have put tweaks in place to manage user traffic while adding significant new capacity to cope with the demand of remote working.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly re-engineered the way we live and work. This unprecedented situation has driven us to experiencing what was previously thought as a plausible, but unlikely circumstance. That is, seeing cloud computing hit capacity!
In this blog, we delve into what this means and how METCloud is performing in this circumstance.
Cloud Computing is vast, not infinite
While cloud capacity is vast, it is not an infinite resource. All clouds are fundamentally built on sophisticated compute and storage technologies that ultimately have capacity limitations. The velocity in which the COVID-19 situation unfolded has created a perfect storm by rocketing demand for cloud services that could not have been planned in advance.
What are these Microsoft Azure Service tweaks?
In their Update #2, Microsoft mentioned that they have essentially placed limits on free offers to prioritise capacity for existing customers for the time being. Microsoft stressed that their priority is to support critical sectors like healthcare, public services, councils, etc.
They have also made some temporary adjustments to non-essential capabilities like how to check for user presence and video resolution while limiting certain resources for new subscriptions.
Does this mean that services have slowed down?
Microsoft has reported that they have not faced any significant service disruptions despite being at capacity.
As a Microsoft Co-Sell Partner, we (METCloud) have our own Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that is independent of Microsoft Azure. This means that we are capable of providing UK-based cloud services as part of our ecosystem.
Currently, METCloud operations remain as normal and we continue to provide advice to affected businesses that have raised enquiries.
How long is this going to persist for?
At the present moment, it is difficult to predict how long this capacity issue will continue for. Microsoft is working on adding more capacity to manage this situation. However this may take some time to implement and there are more resourceful ways to approach the situation.
Limitation on Microsoft Azure services is likely to continue to a certain extent for the benefit of the essential sectors. Businesses affected by this situation should take the time in identifying their priorities, what they want out of their cloud computing system and explore alternative solutions that are available.
Microsoft Partners like METCloud have their own PaaS and they may have the alternatives that businesses need to continue with their operational functions.
My organisation s new to remote working. Is there anything that we should keep in mind?
COVID-19 has forced many companies to hastily put together remote working measures in order to observe social distancing.
Apart from ensuring that the system is fit for purpose in the long run for productivity and business continuity, companies must consider cybersecurity. This surge in demand will undoubtedly have cybersecurity impacts if organisations have not considered these factors when expanding their cloud consumption.
METCloud’s service offering is focussed on cybersecurity. Read our blog post on our approach to cybersecurity during the COVID-19 outbreak.