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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 07:47

Lightning strikes put Microsoft Azure data centre offline Featured

By
Lightning strikes put Microsoft Azure data centre offline Pixabay

Microsoft's Azure cloud platform has suffered a massive outage that affected customers in various parts of the world, with cooling problems being identified at about 2.30am Pacific Time on Tuesday (7.30pm AEST Tuesday).

While Office365 and Active Directory services were hit, other services like Visual Studio Team Services, Xbox Live and OneDrive also experienced problems, the website Geekwire reported.

On its Azure status website — which was inaccessible for a while — Microsoft said there were "two identified impact workstreams".

"Customers with resources in South Central US may experience difficulties connecting to resources hosted in this region. A complete list of impacted services can be found below.

"Customers using non-regional services, such as Azure Active Directory, may experience intermittent authentication failures in any region."

It said the root cause was a series of lightning strikes that occurred near one of the South Central US data centres. This led to a voltage increase that affected cooling systems.

"Automated data centre procedures to ensure data and hardware integrity went into effect and critical hardware entered a structured power down process," the company said.

"As a result, non-regional services, such as Azure Active Directory, encountered an operational threshold for processing requests through the South Central US data centre. Initial attempts to fail over into other data centres resulted in temporary traffic congestion for those regions."

The Azure service was hit by a fire suppression incident last year. It also suffered prolonged downtime in 2013.


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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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