A History of Microsoft Azure Outages

Explore a decade of Microsoft Azure outages and their impact on businesses relying on Azure for vital applications.

Microsoft Azure outages illustration

Data Center Knowledge has been tracking Microsoft Azure outages for over a decade. With so many using Azure services for vital business applications on a day-to-day basis, these disruptions often have a significant impact on Azure customers.

Check out our Microsoft Azure outage highlights from the last 10 years:

Jan 23, 2023: Microsoft Azure Outage Wipes Out Teams, 365, and Outlook – Caused by Network Issues

Early in 2023, Microsoft experienced a three-hour outage of its core M365 offerings due to Azure network issues, wiping out some of its most popular services. Wide area network troubles were the cause of the outage. According to Microsoft made to its WAN severed connectivity between the internet and Microsoft’s core suite of services.

Sep 4, 2018: Microsoft Blames ‘Severe’ Weather for Azure Cloud Outage

In September 2018, Microsoft blamed “severe” weather for an Azure Cloud outage that affected 40 Azure services. According to Microsoft, a “severe weather event, including lighting strikes” near one of its San Antonio, Texas, data centers caused a voltage spike, which in turn lead to a cooling issue.

Sep 29, 2017: Microsoft Says Azure Outage Caused by Accidental Fire-Suppression Gas

According to Microsoft, a reaction of precautionary automated shutdowns caused by a fire-suppression gas led to seven hours of service glitches in September 2017. Azure engineers said the fire suppression system was activated during routine maintenance.

Related:Incident Response: Lessons Learned from a Data Center Fire

Mar 31, 2017: Data Center Cooling Outage Disrupts Azure Cloud in Japan

A number of Microsoft Azure cloud services in the Japan East region malfunctioned in March 2017 due to a cooling system outage. The outage was caused by a rotary uninterruptible power supply.

Mar 7 and 23, 2017: Microsoft Probes Cause of Global Web Outage

Microsoft Azure services faced a double outage in March 2017 that disrupted user access to Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and other online services, in some cases for more than 16 hours.

Nov 19, 2014: Microsoft Says Config. Change Caused Azure Outage

In November 2014, Microsoft revealed that a config change was behind a widespread outage that affected 20 services in zones around the world. A configuration change meant to make Blob storage (Azure’s cloud storage service for unstructured data) perform better unexpectedly sent Blob front ends “into an infinite loop.”

Aug 14, 15, and 18, 2014: Cloud Outages Make for Rough Monday at Microsoft Azure

Microsoft’s Azure services suffered multiple outages in August 2014, affecting the US Central, US East, US East 2, and Europe North regions. Affected services included Cloud Services, SQL Database, Virtual Machines, Websites, HDInsight, Mobile Services, Service Bus, Site Recovery and StorSimple.

Related:A History of AWS Cloud and Data Center Outages

June 24, 2014: Microsoft Apologizes, Details Online Services Outage

An outage of online services in June 2014 resulted in many being left without email access. According to Microsoft, the problem was with Lync Online and Exchange Online services. The Exchange Online issue was triggered by an intermittent failure in a directory role that caused a directory partition to stop responding to authentication requests.

Nov 22, 2013: Windows Azure, Xbox Live Experience Problems as Xbox One Launches

On the launch day of the Xbox One, Microsoft’s Azure service, which helps power Xbox Live, faced a raft of issues, including storage and network problems. The issue affected the North Central US region, but Microsoft said the number of customers impacted was extremely low.

Oct 30, 2013: Windows Azure Cloud Hit by Management Issues

Customers were unable to perform management functions or upload files to web sites hosted on Azure in October 2013 due to an issue with Windows Azure Compute.  

Feb 22, 2013: Windows Azure Cloud Crashed by Expired SSL Certificate

In February 2013, an expired SSL certificate resulted in a crash for the Windows Azure storage cloud computing platform. Given the scope of the outage, Microsoft issued service credits to those affected.

Jul 26, 2012: Misconfigured Network Device Caused Microsoft Azure Outage

According to Microsoft, a misconfigured network device left the Azure Compute service unavailable to customers in some parts of Europe for more than two hours. In July 2012, the service interruption was triggered by a misconfigured network device that disrupted traffic to one cluster in the West Europe sub-region.

Feb 29, 2012: Windows Azure Cloud Hit By ‘Leap Year’ Bug

Windows Azure Cloud was hit by a “leap year” bug in February 2012, leaving customers unable to manage their applications for about eight hours and knocking Azure-based services offline for some North American users. Microsoft confirmed the bug was “due to a time calculation that was incorrect for the leap year.”

Aug 7, 2011: Outage in Dublin Knocks Amazon, Microsoft Data Centers Offline

In August 2011, there were significant power outages at the cloud computing hubs of Microsoft and Amazon in Dublin, Ireland. At first, it was assumed that the outages were related to lightning strikes, but this was later disputed.

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