The Stack Archive

Microsoft services disrupted in global Azure outage

Wed 19 Nov 2014

Faults in Microsoft’s Azure cloud service have caused many of its hosted sites to shutdown, as well as affecting its own products including Xbox Live and Office 365.

The error will undoubtedly raise concern for Microsoft as they attempt drive sales for Azure to make gains on leaders such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and IBM.

Microsoft said that the problems began around the globe at 00:52 GMT, and suggested that some of its customers were still experiencing problems accessing storage and applications throughout the day.


“Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting access to some Microsoft services […] We are working to restore full access to these services as quickly as possible,” said Microsoft’s general manager Adrienne Hall.

Azure’s third-party websites include mega organisations such as Tesco, Apple and Toyota. However, it appeared that its smaller sites were among those disrupted overnight.

“There’s obviously an adverse impact when your whole website goes down,” said Julian Ranger, founder of SocialSafe, one of the smaller businesses affected by the outage.

“The point about Azure was that they guarantee that your site will always be up because there are multiple places where your software can run. If there’s one problem, it should happily switch to run elsewhere […] that’s just not happening today – we’re completely out,” Ranger continued.

Other sites affected included Viva Zorggroep, a Dutch Healthcare company. Dave Thiijssen, an IT manager at the group referred to the bad PR for cloud that the outages have caused. “People in our organisation are signalling that the cloud may not be mature enough to migrate an enterprise to,” he said.

The faults came at an unfortunate time for Microsoft who had just hours earlier broadcast an advert for its Azure services on ITV during the Scotland v. England football match.

Despite this misfortune, Chris Green, a principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group, pointed out that Microsoft has not been “the only cloud provider that has suffered this sort of outage.”

Whether taken as reassurance or not, he added that “cloud services are still in their infancy, and glitches like this are going to happen.”


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