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).
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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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