Posted by: Brian | December 4, 2009

Wow. Microsoft Testing in Production. I wouldn’t have thought that.

I.  Am.  Amazed.

Before I discuss the source of my amazement, allow me declare my bias.  First, I work for IBM – and while there’s no poster in the lunchroom that says “Microsoft Bad” – there is definitely a strong spirit of competition here.  Parked in the bull’s eye on our competitive  dart board is Microsoft.   However, from a purely personal perspective, I have great respect for Microsoft.  I run Windows XP, I live in PowerPoint, and I generally respect their ability to run a software business.  I’ve even defended them when I thought they were unfairly attacked.


This is too much.  Bing, the Microsoft search engine went dark for 30 minutes yesterday.  Why?  The following note appears on the Bing developers blog:

The cause of the outage was a configuration change during some internal testing that had unfortunate and unintended consequences.

Effectively, what they’re saying is that the were performing system configuration testing on a production system.   Whoa.  It’s one thing to perform functional testing on a production system; I can easily see how Microsoft testers would run Bing searches on their live system.  But to run configuration tests, where you are actively modifying configuration attributes on a production system – especially one of such strategic importance.  That’s risky – too risky, some might say.  That type of testing should be done in a lab, in house, in as close to a replica of the full production system as possible.  At least a scale model.  Microsoft has those types of resources.  Why that didn’t happen here, I can only imagine.  Surely, Microsoft knows better.  I hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: