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Azure Subscription - Lesson learned related to credi card

One of my first project on Microsoft Azure is in production from 2011. More than 4 years the system ran without major issues. Every 4-5 months we released a new version of the product.
We have a maintenance and a support team that has a clear list of check lists that needs to be checked every day, week or month. For example, a health check similar with a smoke test is done every day. Every week, the available space of the storage account is checked. At the end of each month we check the expiration date of certificates and so on.

Running a product on an Azure subscription for so long will force you to have a very good process for maintenance and support team. Of course, this process was not perfect from the first day. The checklist was changed and improved in time.

Last week we discovered that an important check was... forgotten....

You know, each Azure subscription is connected to a credit card that is used for billing. And this credit card expires after 2 or 3 years.
What do you think that happens when the credit card expires and you don't update the credit card information?
Your subscription will be disabled. This means that all the services that you are running on that Azure subscription will be suspended. Of course before this, Microsoft will notify you via emails and you will have plenty of time to update the credit card information.
In our case, something happened and we missed the emails notifications that should have alert us about payments issues. In the end we ended up with the Azure subscription suspended and our system was down for some hours.
Luckily, the Azure support team offered us all the support and re-enabled our subscription until we were able to update the credit card information.

Lesson learned: You should add to the checklist of maintenance and support team all external dependencies or resources that can expire, like credit cards or billing status.


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