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Global network outage hits Microsoft: Azure, Teams, Outlook all down

Redmond rolls back network change after cloud services dip in sympathy with profits

Microsoft is currently rolling back a network change across its wide area network that it believes toppled over a raft of its cloud services this morning, perhaps in solidarity with the company's tumbling profits.

Users all over the world are venting their anger on social media at not being able to send or receive email, connect to Teams meetings or access many other services.

The problems started at around 0705 UTC on January 25 and involved issues with network connectivity for millions of users of Azure, Teams and Outlook, when they attempted to connect with Azure resources, which naturally includes Microsoft's cloud-hosted services.

A Service Health Status update from the company at 0810 UTC admitted that: "Users may be unable to access multiple Microsoft 365 services," which include but were not limited to Teams, Exchange Online, Outlook, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

It appears the cause of the issue is a networking configuration change, with the Windows giant admitting: "We've identified that a wide-area networking (WAN) routing change caused impact to the service. We've rolled back the change and monitoring the service as it recovers. Some of the customers who had previously reported impact are also reporting recovery."

Plenty of irate customers are contacting Microsoft via Twitter to share their problems, with a typical example being one who said that: "VPN, SQL, Web Apps all affected."

Another reported they were "unable to send/receive emails in outlook, Teams meetings are disconnecting in between, and O365 portals are loading very slowly. Critical Business activities are impacted majorly this morning."

Over on Reddit, the chatter among sysadmins revealed that it was a global issue, with users from Germany, Switzerland Netherlands, Australia as well as the UK all reporting latency and other issues, with one in particular commenting that: "I guess the layoffs at MS didn't go down that well..." and another saying: "I feel bad for the guy who pulled the trigger on the change that has caused this firestorm."

A more recent status update from Microsoft stated that: "Our telemetry shows consistent signs of recovery from 0945 UTC onwards across multiple regions and services. Most customers should now see full recovery as WAN networking has recovered fully."

This latest outage follows one in December that also affected cloud services such as Exchange Online and Teams across the Asia-Pacific region, while another outage in July likewise affected Microsoft 365 services globally, but these are just a few of the incidents that happened within the last year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft reported only modest growth in its earnings results for the quarter to the end of 2022, with consumer-centric products showing marked revenue dips and the company warning of slowing growth for Azure and associated cloud services.

CEO Satya Nadella ascribed this to customers "optimizing" their cloud spend, and predicted that growth would resume once Azure can deliver the AI customers want – assuming they can access those services, of course.

We asked Microsoft for a statement explaining today's service outage and will update this article when we get a response. ®

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