Cloud Updates and Availability

Explore the improvement process

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Another feature of the Cloud is that it never stands still. Cloud providers are continuously modifying and improving their service and features. Let's take a look at that process. The data center infrastructure, servers, and applications typically undergo a regular program of improvements, maintenance, and upgrades. You need to question whether these upgrades will affect your service availability and whether your service level agreement addresses any outages caused by changes to the underlying service. Service and feature improvements can be implemented by either party.

Some services such as Microsoft Azure or Office 365 will be completed by the Cloud service provider while separating a bespoke application will be completed in-house and then pushed to the Cloud. Cloud service providers refine their offerings frequently, this allows them to accommodate changing customer requirements and also to incorporate new technologies. You should be notified before all upgrades and improvements are undertaken and when they are completed. You should have the opportunity to review the changes before they take place and have the time to evaluate how the changes will impact your functionality.

And finally, you should have a test, or development environment, or a limited group of users onto which the changes can be deployed first. If the application belongs to you, you will need to form in-house upgrades and improvements for yourself. You will need to perform upgrades and a test or development environment first and then deploy the application to your data center. Finally, you will need to have a plan in place to roll back changes if issues should arise with your app. One of the most popular and visible uses of the Cloud is Software as a Service or SaaS, which allows you to use an application or pre-configured software for a single, monthly usage fee.

Office 365 is an example of SaaS, which is great in popularity. It is offered in a simple, monthly, or annual software licensing and delivery model. With Office 365 continuous improvements and upgrading the service takes place, as new features are created Office 365 is updated and deployed automatically. Let's drop onto our demo PC and take a look at the Office 365 Roadmap. Microsoft publishes a detailed Roadmap for Office 365. This lists updates that are currently planned for Office 365 subscribers.

The updates are categorized at the various stages in development, to rolling out to customers, and then being generally available worldwide. In the next movie, we will consider how you can monitor your service health, and manage maintenance, and we will look at the tools you can use.

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For businesses with 150+ licenses Request Office 365 onboarding assistance from FastTrack

You can request remote and personalized assistance with onboarding. Our FastTrack engineers will help you plan your Office 365 project, assess your technical environment, provide remediation guidance, and provide user adoption assistance. For businesses with at least 500 licenses, Microsoft also provides personalized assistance to migrate data to Office 365.

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Tip: Businesses with 1-149 licenses still have access to FastTrack guidance via links in the Admin Center and also available at

Gain a new or enhanced understanding of cloud principles, service offerings, delivery mechanisms, and security requirements. This course focuses on the objectives for the first two domains of the Microsoft Cloud Fundamentals exam (98-369: Understand the Cloud and Enable Microsoft Cloud Services). IT professionals and those interested in pursuing certification can use this course as an exam preparation resource.

Topics include:

  • Cloud principles and security mechanisms

  • Cloud security requirements and policies

  • Cloud updates and availability

  • Types of cloud services

  • Signing up for cloud services

  • Configuring cloud services

  • Configuring Microsoft Intune

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