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Catastrophic Outage Response

 

Applies to: Office 365

Topic Last Modified: 2014-01-21

Microsoft analyzes each outage that impacts Office 365 service availability to determine the scope of the incident and possible solutions. Outages that cause work stoppage in your organization might be considered catastrophic outages. In the event of a catastrophic outage, the Microsoft incident management team sends the initial outage notification to you via email unless the email service for your organization is not functional. In that case, a phone call is made to an agreed-on telephone number that you have provided. Status updates are provided to you every hour or as appropriate for the particular incident.

In addition, a Microsoft CritSit Manager helps ensure that outage notifications are received by your executive contacts. This requires that you provide the most current contact information for these executives to the Microsoft Service Delivery Manager (SDM) assigned to your organization. Initial contact with the executive contacts is made by phone within 60 minutes of the outage being declared. Additional follow-up frequency will be set and agreed upon by the executive contact.

An outage may be declared a disaster if it is classified as a catastrophic event based on the severity scale shown in the Incident Classification section. Declaration of a disaster does not automatically result in failover to your secondary Microsoft data center site. The decision to failover to the secondary data center is made by mutual agreement between Microsoft and your organization—except in cases of “force majeure” when Microsoft will proceed with the failover. In these instances, Microsoft will inform you of the failover as quickly as possible after addressing the disaster.

The figure below illustrates the Microsoft response to a catastrophic service outage.

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Customer Responsibilities

  • Provide contact information. Provide a single email group alias and phone number so that Microsoft can engage your appropriate personnel at the time of an event to review the current status of the outage, disaster declaration criteria, and approval or disapproval of failing over to your secondary Office 365 data center site.

  • Provide declaration support. Provide executive-level declaration authority contacts to the Microsoft declaration authority to help determine if failover to your secondary site is necessary.

Microsoft Responsibilities

  • Provide contact information. Provide you with a single email group alias and phone number so that you can engage the appropriate Microsoft personnel at the time of an event to review current status of the outage, disaster declaration criteria, and approval or disapproval of failing over to your Office 365 secondary site.

  • Decide whether failover is required. Make the decision, with input from your organization, on whether to fail over to your secondary site.

 
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