Microsoft’s cloud outage is hitting users around the world

  • The outage affects Microsoft cloud platform Azure for hours
  • Many Microsoft services were hit, including Teams and Outlook
  • Microsoft says most customers are now reporting that service has been restored
  • Shares fell 3.2%

Jan 25 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp ( MSFT.O ) said on Wednesday it had restored all cloud services after a network outage knocked out services like Teams and Outlook, used by millions of people around the world, along with its cloud platform Azure.

Azure’s status page lists services as affected in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Only services in China and its platform for governments were not hit.

By late morning, Azure reported that most customers should see services restored after Microsoft’s Wide Area Network (WAN) is fully restored.

An outage to Azure, which has 15 million enterprise customers and more than 500 million active users, could affect multiple services and create a domino effect, as nearly all of the world’s largest companies use the platform, according to Microsoft.

Businesses have become increasingly dependent on online platforms as the pandemic has led to a shift to more workers working from home.

Earlier, Microsoft said that it had determined that a network connectivity issue was occurring on devices over the Microsoft WAN. This affects communication between clients on the Internet with Azure, as well as communication between services in data centers.

Microsoft later tweeted that it had reversed a network change it believed caused the problem and was using “additional infrastructure to speed up the recovery process.”

Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected by the outage, but data from outage tracking website Downdetector showed thousands of incidents across continents.

The Downdetector site tracks outages by aggregating status reports from various sources, including users.

Microsoft’s cloud business helped boost second-quarter earnings on Tuesday. It forecast third-quarter revenue of $21.7 billion to $22 billion in the smart cloud business, despite concerns that the lucrative cloud segment could take a hit for big tech companies as customers look to cut costs.

According to estimates by BofA Global Research, Azure’s share of the cloud computing market will rise to 30% in 2022, behind Amazon’s AWS.

Microsoft announced last week that it was cutting more than 10,000 jobs, joining other major technology companies in cutting jobs to weather a weaker economy.

Its shares fell 3.2% to $234.41.

Big Tech platform outages are not uncommon, with companies ranging from Google ( GOOGL.O ) to Meta ( META.O ) experiencing service outages. Azure, the second-largest provider of cloud services after Amazon ( AMZN.O ), has been plagued by disruptions in the past year.

During the outage, users experienced problems exchanging messages, joining calls, or using any features of the Teams app. Many users took to Twitter to share updates on the service outage with #MicrosoftTeams trending as a hashtag on the social media site.

Used by more than 280 million people globally, Microsoft Teams is an integral part of daily operations for businesses and schools that use the service to make calls, schedule meetings, and organize workflow.

Major UK-based financial services firms have seen significant signs of disruption, where multiple messaging apps from providers such as Movius and Symphony are being used alongside Microsoft Teams to connect bankers with clients and office staff with remote colleagues.

Two London sources who work for two major global banks said they don’t even see a problem.

Deutsche Boerse Group, which runs the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, said there was no impact on trading. Frankfurt-based Commerzbank AG ( CBKG.DE ) said in a statement that Microsoft was investigating several issues affecting the bank.

Other affected services include Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, according to the company’s status page.

“I think there’s a huge debate to be had in the communications and cloud space in sustainability and mission-critical applications,” said Brad Levy, Symphony’s chief executive officer.

Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm, additional reporting by Sinead Cruise in London; Written by Charlie Devereux, Edited by Elaine Hardcastle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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