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Article ID: 2690045 - Last Review: September 30, 2014 - Revision: 12.0

Summary
Microsoft Office 365 does not require you to use WAN Optimization Controller devices (also known as WAN acceleration and caching devices), nor can we comment on the effectiveness of these solutions. Customers may decide to use such devices to increase performance under conditions of high latency or low bandwidth for Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online. We advise customers to use their own discretion in deploying these devices with Office 365, whether in Multi-Tenant (MT), Dedicated (D), or ITAR service deployment configurations.

Microsoft does not offer first-party technical customer support for WAN Optimization Controller (WOC) devices. As with other network infrastructure equipment, we have not tested the use of these devices with Office 365 to make sure that they work, nor do we take any responsibility for making sure that they continue to work as part of regular service updates. Customers should work directly with their WOC vendors to receive technical support.

During support incidents, we do require customers to inform us if they are using WOC devices. We also require that customers have an easy way to bypass the WAN optimization service for Office 365. When we try to resolve a customer service issue in Office 365, we may ask that these devices be put in bypass mode before we continue with diagnosis and issue resolution. By bypass mode, we mean any combination of network or device configuration that logically or physically removes the device from the infrastructure path between the customer and Office 365.
More Information
Office 365 Dedicated and ITAR customers may install and use WOC devices with the service at their own discretion. We do enable co-location of these devices in Microsoft data centers in which a customer's private network ends. Be aware that we enable this option only for Office 365 Dedicated and ITAR deployments, not for Multi-Tenant service. To realize the same benefits, some WOC vendors do offer the option to deploy only in the customer's data center, and they do not require co-location in a Microsoft data center. Because the use of WOC devices can potentially affect the reliability of the Office 365 service, customers must agree to the following when they opt to use these devices:
  • If a customer's support request involves diagnosing a service access issue, the customer must disclose WOC devices that are being used when he or she contacts Microsoft Online Services Support by online submission (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2694621 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2694621) ) or by telephone (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2573289 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2694621) ).
  • If these devices are found to affect the performance or availability of Office 365 service components during troubleshooting by Microsoft, we may ask the customer to bypass the WOC device to make sure that service availability is maintained.
  • Before a customer re-enables such devices, he or she must directly engage the technical support resources of the device vendor to investigate issues that are caused by the existing device.
  • Any event that adversely affects service and that we determine to be caused by the existing WOC device will be identified as a Service Level Agreement (SLA) exclusion.
For all customer deployments, Microsoft does not provide first-party technical customer support for the integration and use of WOC devices with Office 365 (in Multi-Tenant, Dedicated, and ITAR configurations). Our position and rationale are outlined as follows:
  • We cannot provide proactive support for these devices or for related third-party software that we do not control. These devices sit between the client and our servers. They affect every network communication and can potentially affect our service. We cannot take responsibility for any issues caused by these devices.
  • As we cannot diagnose the devices directly, we may ask to bypass them during support diagnosis or troubleshooting. If bypassing the WOC devices fixes a problem, the customer must work with the device manufacturer to obtain a long-term resolution (such as a code update) and to then re-enable the device.
  • We realize that our customers may have to deploy such devices. But because of their complexity, these devices remain the customer’s responsibility when any issues arise. 
In summary WOC devices are considered part of the customer’s on-premises landscape, and if they are used, any related issues are the customer's responsibility. As we continue to improve the Office 365 service, changes can potentially affect the performance of these devices. It is the responsibility of the customer and the device manufacturer to make any necessary modifications to support our service changes.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Business Productivity Online Dedicated
  • Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite Federal
  • Microsoft Office 365
Keywords: 
vkbportal226 o365 o365022013 KB2690045
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