Windows Azure outage hits Europe

Just in time for the Olympics, there’s a Windows Azure(s msft) outage in Europe.

A flag posted at 11:09 UTC  on the Windows Azure dashboard: 

“We are experiencing an availability issue in the West Europe sub-region, which impacts access to hosted services in this region. We are actively investigating this issue and working to resolve it as soon as possible. Further updates will be published to keep you apprised of the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our customers.”

According to an update posted one hour later, the troubleshooting and data gathering continued.

This is just the latest reminder that while the cloud offers customers great scale and potential cost savings, not even the largest, most well financed public clouds are immune from downtime. Windows Azure experienced a widely publicized “Leap Day” outage in early March. Amazon(s amzn), the largest public cloud provider, was hit by several outages at its U.S. east data center over the past few months.

Update: At 12:46 p.m. EDT, I got this update from Microsoft:

The recent Windows Azure service interruption in the Western Europe sub-region has been resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this outage may have caused our customers.  The duration of the service interruption was approximately 2.5 hours and was resolved at 6:33 AM PDT.  Customers who have questions regarding this incident are encouraged to contact Customer Service and Support.

Stay tuned for updates.

Photo courtesy of  Flickr user Stew Dean