“Whoops,” says Microsoft Azure: cloud service goes down for many users

Scott Guthrie at Windows Azure 2012 intro

It’s Monday, and it’s already been a pretty bad week for Microsoft Azure. Starting early afternoon Eastern time, the company witnessed partial and full service interruptions to several of its services across multiple regions. The sites were back up again at around 8 p.m. eastern time, according to Microsoft.

The outage had some services down for 3 hours in early to mid-afternoon Eastern Standard Time —  an embarrassing glitch for Microsoft especially since Azure experienced other hiccups  last week — including a worldwide Visual Studio Online outage on August 14 . That’s not good press for a cloud provider trying to convince business accounts that its data and applications will always be available.

According to the Microsoft status page:

Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC, we are experiencing an interruption to Azure Services, may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile Services, StorSimple and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. Customers began to experience service restoration as updates were deployed across the affected environment. Next update will be provided in 30 minutes.

Microsoft is pushing a tandem of Azure running in its data centers with companies running Windows Server, Systems Center and other Microsoft software in their own data centers. But it faces heated competition, from Amazon which is driving Amazon Web Services into corporate accounts as well as business-focused VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Services and an array of other options from telcos and other providers — many of whom will probably use this public snafu to their own advantage.

azure out

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the outage and responded with this statement: “We are aware of an interruption impacting some Microsoft services and are working quickly to address the issue. For more information, customers should visit the Azure dashboard http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/status/.”

This post was updated at 3:35p.m. PST to include Microsoft’s statement; and again at 5:45 p.m. PST to reflect the outage was resolved.

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