Advancing Azure business continuity management


Written by Mark Russinovich, hief Technology Officer and Technical Fellow, Microsoft Azure


“Microsoft Azure has always been committed to providing highly reliable, available, and recoverable services to our customers. This customer-focused passion is reflected at every level in the Microsoft Azure Business Continuity Management (BCM) program. At the direction of the Microsoft board of directors, in 2007 we established a comprehensive risk program including the BCM program to address assured recoverability of services for our customers. For today’s post in our Advancing Reliability series, I’ve asked Robert Arco, our Senior Program Manager overseeing this program, to explain how we approach business continuity management in Azure, and how we’re continuing to improve the program as our platform evolves.”—Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

How we define a “service” for our BCM program

If you ask three people what a service is, you may get three different answers. At Microsoft, we define a service (business process or technology) as a means of delivering value to customers (first- or third-party) by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve.


To ensure the highest level of resiliency for each of our “services” we include:


  • People: The people who are responsible for providing the service.
  • Process: The methodology used to provide the service.
  • Technology: The tools used to deliver the service or the technology itself delivered as the value.


Customers see our services as product offerings that are comprised of various bundled services. Each individual service is mapped in our inventory and run through the BCM program to ensure that the people, processes, and technologies for those services are resilient to a variety of failures.


Our end-to-end program identifies, prioritizes, maps, and tests every service providing more than “box checking” compliance. Instead, we focus on a broad understanding of how to provide the best service to our customers who demand reliable service offerings for their business.


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