Microsoft Exchange Online Outage of Over 8 Hours Frustrates Customers


An infrastructure failure knocked out Microsoft Exchange Online for over eight and a half hours on Tuesday. Users were frustrated not only with being unable to access cloud email accounts, but also with Microsoft’s lack of communication about the problem.

Exchange Online customers began reporting problems on twitter and in Microsoft support forums  after the outage occurred around 9 a.m. EST. Just over an hour later a forum post by David Zhang of Microsoft support acknowledged the problem and said that the company was investigating.

Forum posts complained about the inaccurate “green” status icons, lack of communication on the Office 365 website, lack of an estimate of when service might be restored, and difficulty getting telephone support.

Just before 6 p.m. EST Zhang posted a notice to page 15 of the forum thread stating, “Investigation determined that a portion of the networking infrastructure entered into a degraded state. Engineers made configuration changes on the affected capacity to remediate end-user impact.”

The “degraded state” of “a portion of capacity” was mentioned by Zhang in a post during the third hour of downtime.

Details on the infrastructure problem or how many customers were affected by the disruption have not been released.

Exchange Online suffered a series of service disruptions in May 2011, and frustrations with the company’s response led to an update of its communications policy for the service.

Microsoft’s cloud messaging and conferencing service Lync was down for roughly 6 hours on Monday, according to ZDNet.

Some Office 365 packages include a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. Unfortunately for customers a service lost for 0.1 percent of a year would be down for 8.76 hours. According to Zhang, Tuesday’s outage lasted 8.65 hours.



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About the Author

Chris Burt is a WHIR contributor and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He can be found on Twitter @afakechrisburt.

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  1. So, if they´ve spend their 0.01% already (they promise 99.9% uptime), what happens if their is another outage?

    • (their = there... sorry)