August 14th, 2014, augured a case of ‘Monday blues’ for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s cloud computing service, Azure, when it suffered a power outage lasting about five hours on a global scale as soon as the sun’s rays flooded the Australian sky.
Hitches in transmission of services were observed at 1 am EST on Monday wherein cloud services like websites, virtual machines and recovery were showing interruptions. At the time the company responded by labeling these as ‘partial service interruptions’. However, about two hours later at 3 am, the list of services that could not be accessed had extended to SQL Database, mobile services, StorSimple and Site Recovery too. Owing to this the company had to change its interruption status to ‘full service’ although no reason was cited for its occurrence.
Outage was experienced across multiple data centers around the world wherein services for as many as six components stood disrupted. It took another couple of hours for these to be restored and recovery occurred in phases with Asia Pacific, Japan and East Asia being the first to have become operational again. North American and European zones blinked red for a longer period of time with assurances from the company that all efforts were being directed towards early restoration.
Monday’s incident of power outage for Azure is the third during this month for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the first two having occurred on August 14th and 15th respectively. A similar incident had occurred in June as well when services like exchange-cloud email and Lync Comms had been disrupted due to outage. Microsoft had, henceforth, apologized for the temporary suspension.
Being one of the largest providers of cloud-based services, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares this space with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) thanks to the efforts of its new CEO, Satya Nadella, and his ‘Mobile First, Cloud First’ plan for Azure. Barring these few outage incidents, Azure has worked to Microsoft’s advantage in terms of building partnerships with other companies.
However, what is worrisome is that although it is common for such services to experience outage given their global reach, rarely does it extend beyond one or two centers.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu and edited by Serkan Unal.