I'm doing some research on Azure (finally playing with the bits), and in the process, spending some time cruising Steve Marx's blog. Steve presented some Azure stuff at PDC earlier this year, and there's some great stuff on his blog if you're working with Azure for the first time. One of the things you'll learn if you watch his PDC stuff is that his blog is, itself, built on Azure and running in the cloud, so it should be a showcase for all of Azure's scalability claims.
Thus, it was with great surprise that I clicked a link and saw this Azure app apparently taking a dirt nap:
This webpage is not available.
The webpage at http://blog.smarx.com/?ct=1!8!c21hcng-/1!48!MjUyMTc1NjA1Nzk4NDI2NzA1MiBhdC1sYXN0LS1zcGFtLQ-- might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.
I refreshed a couple of times, to no avail, and finally tried going back to the home page, which worked fine. I'm still not sure exactly what went wrong, but it would appear that the god-awful token that was used to track my navigation got lost in the cloud somewhere.
The lesson here? For production apps, you're still going to need to build your Azure apps defensively, and make sure that customer-facing hiccups are handled in a user-friendly fashion. As a user, I don't know (or care) if this error was an Azure failure or a failure of the app that's hosted on Azure. This isn't a dreadful error when I'm browsing a blog, but it could have been if I'd been paying bills or making an online purchase.