Autoforwarding in Exchange Online falls over due to a problematic spam rule deployment

If only there were an AI to do what Microsoft's engineers don't seem to be able to


Updated As Microsoft's public-facing engineers were basking in the, er, glow of the company's Build event, those in the backrooms were scrambling to shore up the cloud giant's perennially wobbling services.

Following an unscheduled lie down by Microsoft-owned code shack GitHub yesterday, Exchange Online services took a nap today.

Exchange Online troubles kicked off this morning as customers discovered that email auto-forwarding had stopped working. The cause? The Windows giant admitted that "a recently deployed spam rule is causing impact."

Pretty much any email being auto-forwarded by the Exchange feature was affected, according to a posting in Microsoft's admin centre. The fix? Redeploying the spam rule, because if at first you don't succeed then, er, you're probably Microsoft.

Social media was its usual supportive self regarding the outage (which Microsoft noted as starting at 0730 UTC today and lasted until 1330 UTC), although one can't but wonder just how much testing goes on nowadays before an email-crunching bug goes live. Unless this is all a ploy to get users to ditch email in favour of Teams.

The Exchange Online totter was preceded by a short GitHub blip on 25 May where some users reported, in GitHub parlance, "degraded performance for Issues."

It's a little awkward, considering Microsoft's developer event, Build, was getting underway at the time (although the event is much more sober now than the days of former CEO Steve Ballmer's sweaty exhortations.)

A Register reader has been in touch to say things were getting back to normal. "So only 5.5 hours worth of lost forwarded emails to deal with then," he observed.®

Updated to add:

A Microsoft spokesperson has been in touch to say: "Services are running normally. Our engineers have resolved an issue that prevented some customers forwarding emails via the auto-forwarding feature."

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