Microsoft cloud services suffer outage

A number of businesses suffered "intermittent access" to their web-based Microsoft applications this week following a fault at the software giant’s US data centre.

The fault affected “some customers in North America”, the company said, between around 08:30 and 10:45 Eastern Time on Monday morning. Affected services included the online versions of Microsoft’s Office applications, its SharePoint content management system and Exchange email server product.

"The outage was caused by a network issue that is now fully resolved, and service has returned to normal,” the company said in a statement. “During the duration of the issue, customers were updated regularly via our normal communication channels. We sincerely apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this incident may have caused them.”

Microsoft has suffered a number of cloud computing calamities. In 2009, for example, a mobile software subsidiary of the company lost thousands of T-Mobile customers’ data, including phonebooks, message lists and images, which were stored and accessed via a Microsoft data centre.

But it is not alone; most well-known cloud computing providers have suffered at least one significant service outage. And while on-premise systems of course suffer breaches and outages too, incidents such as this will do nothing to assuage the fears of organisations reluctant to adopt cloud computing.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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