Microsoft Cloud Users Hit by Global Outage

 

Microsoft has recognized a new change to an authentication system as a potential reason for a blackout that scourged clients of its cloud-based portfolio of productivity and back-office apps across the world. Client reports of technical problems with the software giant’s Microsoft 365 online productivity suite initially began arising around 7 pm on Monday 15 March 2021, as indicated by Downdetector's outage tracking data.

Microsoft updated its service health status page soon after and affirmed that clients might be encountering issues when attempting to get to the organization's key online collaboration, communication, and productivity tools. The organization proceeded to affirm that any service that depends on its cloud-based identity and access management service Azure Active Directory (AAD) might be affected. These incorporate the component services that make up Microsoft 365, like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, however, admittance to the association's wider portfolio of cloud services was also affected by the issues. 

As affirmed on the Microsoft status page, clients of its public cloud platform Azure, its business intelligence software Dynamics 365, and the Microsoft Managed Desktop service are additionally known to have encountered access issues. The organization additionally distributed a progression of updates for clients during the incident by means of its social media channels. 

These incorporated an affirmation that a new update to an authentication system had been recognized as causing issues that could be affecting clients around the world. As confirmation of this, the organization affirmed around 9.17 pm on 15 March that it was carrying out a “mitigation worldwide” to address the issue, with a full "remediation" expected within 60 minutes of its deployment. 

“Service health has improved across multiple Microsoft 365 services,” said a post on the Microsoft 365 Twitter account. “However, we are taking steps to resolve some isolated residual impact for services that are still experiencing impact.” The organization on 16th March published a further update on Twitter saying that the incident seemed to have been largely resolved. “Our monitoring indicates that the majority of the services have fully recovered,” it said. “However, we’re addressing a subset of services that are still experiencing some residual impact and delays in recovery.”