- Daily Zen
Microsoft goes offline for a few hours, Azure, Office 365, Skype all go silent.
Microsoft suffered an hours-long outage on Friday, causing disruptions in office work for many.
Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, as well as Teams, Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, Xbox Live and Bing were all inaccessible due to the outage. Even the Azure Status page was reportedly taken offline.
Twitter went all aflutter with reports of the outage crowding in. Outage tracking website DownDetector showed that reports began flooding in at around 5 p.m. It said it received thousands of notices from Xbox Live, Teams and Office users. Down detector showed over 8,000 incidents of people reporting issues with its widely used Teams workplace messaging app.
Down detector’s numbers are only the tip of the iceberg as it only collates status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform. The outage might be affecting a larger number of users.
Microsoft tweeted that the outage was related to a Domain Name System or DNS issue, the internet system that converts web addresses into computer compatible code. It is very integral to the functioning of the internet, hence its breakdown is not ideal. The Microsoft 365 Twitter status account stated that there is a “DNS issue affecting multiple Microsoft 365 and Azure services” shortly after the first reports of the outage appeared.
At about 7 p.m. in the evening, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that it had “mitigated the issue.” A status message said that a subset of users may experience “intermittent issues” with the company’s services.
The outage caused some embarrassment to the company as it was the second such incident in the space of a fortnight. On March 15, Microsoft Azure was hit with an outage, resulting in Office 365, Teams and Xbox Live all being taken offline for around four hours. Microsoft then blamed that issue on “a recent change to an authentication system”.
An IT director at the company had then said that Microsoft’s issues could be related to the rapid growth of the Teams app. “Teams has grown faster than any other of the Microsoft services, faster than SharePoint, faster than Office 365. It has just exploded. I wonder if [the growth of] Teams is contributing to these problems.”
The Teams app has suffered issues thrice since February. Microsoft reported issues with delays in receiving Teams chats on Feb. 17, and with joining Teams meetings on Feb. 4.
Bob Venero, CEO of N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, had warned that customers should not rely on one service. He said it could have a negative business impact when customers put all their “eggs into the public cloud basket” versus a hybrid cloud approach that includes their own infrastructure.
“This has a very large financial impact on the organizations using these cloud offerings,” said Venero. “The longer it goes on, the more damage that is done. The lack of information that comes with this is even worse. Right now customers don’t know what they are up against or when this is going to be resolved.”