Update 2: Here’s the latest from Azure, relating to its downtime:
Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC, a small subset of customers are experiencing connectivity issues to some Azure Services which may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile Services, StorSimple and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. Recovery continues underway across affected regions. Customers in many regions began to experience service restoration.
Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service is experiencing uptime issues around the world. According to the Microsoft Azure status dashboard, ‘virtual machines,’ ‘backup,’ and ‘cloud services’ are the heaviest hit.
Here’s the company’s current message:
I’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and context on the issue. I’ll update this post when I hear back. Update: A Microsoft spokesperson provided TechCrunch with the following statement: “We are aware of an interruption with Azure services, including Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Web sites, and Automation, and are working with our engineering team to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
Using the company’s time stamp, Azure’s issues have been live for just under two hours. Check back here for a more recent count.
Here’s the “Popular” section of the Azure status page:
Complaints regarding the downtime have cropped up on Twitter:
The following illustrates that, at least for some, ways around the issue are possible:
Cloud computing is a current war between monied platform companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google that are keen to lock in developers on services. Price is a common incentive. Uptime is, as well.
The Azure service has actually had a rough few weeks, as ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley pointed out in the context of the current downtime:
The Azure service outage comes just a few days after a major worldwide outage for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online service. Though Visual Studio Online runs on Azure, Microsoft officials attributed that outage to Visual Studio Online bugs, rather than Azure problems.
Last week, Azure was hit by a full service interruption in the Japan East region, management portal log-in problems and performance degradation in multiple Azure regions — all on August 15.
Azure is, of course, not the first cloud platform to ever go down. It won’t even be the last this year, I’d wager. But by the very same token, downtime is anathema to cloud computing.