Microsoft Announces a Worldwide Team, as well as an Azure Outage.
Some users are unable to access Teams and other Microsoft services due to a recent update to an authentication scheme, according to the company.
Microsoft revealed on Monday that the Teams collaboration app, as well as “multiple” other Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 applications, were all down.
“Users may be unable to access several Microsoft 365 and Azure services,” according to the Microsoft 365 Service health status web page, with Microsoft Teams down for many users.
The problems, which Microsoft reported on Twitter at 3:40 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, could impact any user “worldwide,” according to the company.
The “primary impact is to Microsoft Teams,” according to early studies, according to Microsoft.
However, the company stated that “users might be unable to access several Microsoft 365, Azure, and Dynamics 365 services, including the Service Health Dashboard.” “Any Azure Active Directory (AAD)-based service could be impacted. This includes Microsoft Teams, Forms, Exchange Online, Intune, and Yammer, among others.”
The Teams problems were impacting users in a variety of major cities across the United States and Canada, according to an outage map on Downdetector (pictured above), a website that monitors outages. These cities included New York, Washington, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The Teams and Azure outage was triggered by “an problem with a recent update to an authentication system,” according to Microsoft.
“We've found the root cause of the issue and are taking measures to minimize impact,” the company said on the Microsoft 365 Service health status page about 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
“We're working to address the problems a subset of customers might be having authenticating into certain services,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement Monday in response to a CRN question. We're actually implementing mitigations.”
Microsoft tweeted at 5:57 p.m. Eastern Time that "the update has completed rollout to all affected regions." Telemetry error rates in Microsoft 365 services are decreasing.”
“I can't get into the Microsoft console to even see what is going on,” an IT director who was dealing with the outage on Monday told CRN.
“Anytime you see a spike like this on Downdetector, it's bad,” the IT director, who did not want to be named, said. “However, once you know what the trigger is, you have no idea if it will take them five minutes or five hours to fix.”
Microsoft's problems, according to the IT manager, may be related to the app's rapid growth. “Teams has expanded at a faster rate than any other Microsoft service, like SharePoint and Office 365. It's all blown up. I'm curious whether the rise of Teams is adding to these issues.”
Since the beginning of February, significant problems have plagued the commonly used Teams communication app at least three times. On February 17, Microsoft mentioned delays in obtaining Teams chats, as well as attending Teams meetings.
The recent Microsoft outage, according to Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, New York-based solution provider Future Tech, which is ranked No. 96 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 for 2020, is another example of the negative business effect when consumers place all their "eggs in the public cloud basket" rather than using a hybrid cloud strategy that requires their own infrastructure.
“This has a huge financial effect on the businesses that use these cloud services,” Venero said. “The longer it lasts, the more harm it does. Perhaps worse is the lack of detail that comes with it. Customers have no idea what they're up against or when this will be fixed right now.”
Venero sees the failure as yet another excuse for his customers to invest in on-premise technology for mission-critical applications, according to him.
“If you look at what is mission-critical for most businesses, the first thing that comes to mind is financials, and the second thing that comes to mind is communications infrastructure, which is usually Exchange and Teams,” Venero said. “Those communications mission-critical applications are totally down in this situation. The issue with outages like this is that it's extremely difficult to get answers for consumers who have outsourced their IT to a public cloud provider rather than in-sourcing it to a trusted advisor like Future Tech.
After the widespread transition to remote work a year ago, Teams, which is part of Microsoft's Office 365 suite of productivity applications, has become an important tool for countless businesses in North America. Microsoft announced in late October that Teams had 115 million daily active users around the world, up from around 20 million a year ago.