The engineering team at Microsoft responsible for Office 365 published a lengthy blog post about the outage on Tuesday. Microsoft is not always very transparent so it is refreshing to get an explanation and – more importantly – to get Promises To Do Better instead of defensiveness.
There is more in the blog post but here are the details about Tuesday’s outage:
“From 9:08AM to 2:10PM PST today, November 13th, some customers in North and South America were unable to access email services. The service incident resulted from a combination of issues related to maintenance, network element failures, and increased load on the service. This morning, the Office 365 team was performing planned non-impacting network maintenance by shifting some load out of the datacenters under maintenance. In combination with this standard process, we experienced a ‘gray’ failure of some active network elements; the elements failed, but did not alert us to their failure. Additionally, we have an increasing load of customers on-boarding to the service. These three issues in combination caused customer access to email services to be degraded for an extended period of time. By 10:42am PST, remediation work was underway to balance users to healthy sites, broaden the service access points and remediate the failed network devices. At 2:10PM PST all services were fully restored. Significant capacity increase has already been well underway, but we are also adding automated handling on these gray failures to speed recovery time. Across the organization, we are executing a full review of our processes to proactively identify further actions needed to avoid these situations.”Read more
Microsoft’s Exchange-based Office 365 mail system went down for four hours on Wednesday afternoon. Service has been fully restored.
If you’re an Office 365 user, then incoming mail was slow to arrive, in some cases delayed by hours, and outgoing messages were stuck in the Outbox. Even webmail was down at least part of the time. […] continuedRead more
Some Office 365 users are unable to access their mailbox this morning, either in Outlook or in webmail.
Microsoft has acknowledged the problem but no details are yet available. There is a forum thread here where Microsoft promises to publish updates. There is a link for administrators in the left column of the Office 365 portal for “Service Health” which is frequently updated (but usually not very helpful). […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has been upgrading Office 365 subscribers to new servers during 2013, with improved webmail and a completely overhauled dashboard for users and the latest versions of Exchange Server and other server platforms on the back end. The upgrades haven’t all gone completely smoothly but it seemed like good news all around once the migration was complete. […] continuedRead more
Gmail was down today for most users for at least an hour, with Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Play and some other Google services remaining down for another hour or more. A side effect: attempts to access Google services during the outage was causing Google Chrome to crash.Read more
On August 10, the main data center for Exchange Defender suffered a catastrophic power failure. Clients using the spam filtering service had their incoming and outgoing mail interrupted or massively slowed for most of a day, and hosted mailboxes went offline for as long as two days.Read more
Office 365 Part 1 – Overview
Exchange Online is the compelling piece of Office 365 for small businesses and law firms. Even the smallest business should be considering the advantages of using Exchange to run its mail system, and Office 365 is now the most effective way to get the benefits of Exchange. […] continuedRead more
Small businesses and law firms are ready to move their documents to the cloud. Until recently, I haven’t had an answer about how to accomplish that because none of the familiar solutions were quite right.
Let’s get some background, using OneDrive for Business as an example of a service that looks like it ought to be the right answer – but isn’t. […] continuedRead more
Servers fail without warning sometimes.
This is what happened in a law office last month when the server failed. Each failure has its own story and the details of your story will be different if you’re ever in this position, but there’s a broad point to be made: unexpected downtime has become hard to tolerate. […] continuedRead more
Last summer Microsoft introduced Outlook.com, a redesigned webmail service with a modern design and new features that were ahead of Hotmail, Gmail, and the other competitors. Here’s my enthusiastic description of Outlook.com.Read more
Microsoft’s hosted Exchange mail service went down again this morning. Apparently service is now restored and most people are able to get back online, as of about 10:45am.Read more