back to article Office 365, Hotmail and SkyDrive hit by outage

A new month and another outage for Microsoft's Office 365 cloud service. This time it had company as Hotmail and SkyDrive were also downed by the same DNS (Domain Name System) issue. Luckily for Europe, outages started in the middle of last night when most of us were tucked up in bed – 4am GMT and lasted for around three-and-a …


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  1. JakeyC

    The Cloud

    It's times like this when having your documents saved "in the cloud" really pays - I mean, imagine if someone didn't use SkyDrive and only maintained local copies of their docs!

    Oh, wait...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My boss..

    My boss signed up the business Office 365 despite reservations from the IT team. That's now looking like a "brave decision" (if you know your Yes Minister).

    1. Ilgaz

      He isn't dumb

      MS really knows how to sell junk, fancy dinners, holidays, first class tickets aren't unheard of.

      Add the incompetence of IBM and well deserved Oracle phobia in small business, who are you going to call? Thinkfree could do the magic, they released entire office suite hosted in a webpage back in Java 1.1 ages but they are Korean, that makes them uncool I guess.

    2. Horned-Devil


      Maybe this was because he was fed up of the continual downtime he was having from locally hosted and supported servers...sometimes the move to put things in the cloud is driven by frustration with poorly run internal IT teams and not just because 'it seemed a cool thing to do'

  3. g dot assasin

    Thanks Microsoft.....

    This would explain why i've been having to manually enter Exchange Proxy settings all morning! BPOS sounded like such a good idea at the time....

    1. Ilgaz

      It is because they haven't transformed themselves

      Until they become like IBM, a services giant without any childish "I use my toys only" type spoiled behaviour, these things will keep happening.

      What would you choose if you had to setup a DNS server which demands such uptime and performance? OpenBSD/BIND? AIX? Pure Debian? Of course, MS had to run Windows servers for DNS too! Their things run the best!

      It is just like IBM back in 90s before they made such a huge paradigm shift. I remember you couldn't even use their ISP ( reliably unless you use OS/2. After they changed the way they think, they coded one of the best dialers for Windows 95.

      Industry forced IBM to change, it is amazing that MS can act exactly like 1995 today and get away with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But MS ran Hotmail on BSD for ages didn't they?

        1. Ilgaz

          Hotmail was BSD, as original

          MS tookover Hotmail and started to plan the switch to Windows NT right away. While it was clear that NT wasn't enough for such a job (in that gen.), they kept trying failing 3 times. Losing number 1 quality in the webmail, reliability (at least public perception).

          They finally switched and now, these things happen.

  4. hplasm


    Average uptime in hours.

  5. Wam

    So ...

    ... that's "Office 364" then?

    1. Armando 123

      Apparently they think this is a leap year. Must be using Zune software.

  6. petur


    Office 363, actually (and counting)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Correct - why don't they just call it Office 300 - you know, just to allow a little leeway for future outages?

  7. sabroni Silver badge


    big piece of shit, surely?

  8. Ilgaz

    Anyone from Apple?

    These are the guys you have chosen to host clouds while you are the largest UNIX vendor on the planet.

    Note the traffic of Apple owners, especially portable device owners is amazingly large compared to anything else. Ask any large provider or even cell network operator.

  9. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    ""Preliminary root cause suggests a DNS issue" - This statement covers 80% of Microsoft's issues.

    MS DNS is the bane of my existence and thankfully we still have HOSTS files to compensate for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But a DNS issue doesn't necessarily mean it was MS DNS does it? It could be much more embarassing, like maybe somebody forgot to renew a domain registration or somebody screwed up the public DNS for those servers.

  10. Dr Who

    Bored of luddites

    Why would I want mains electricity when I can run my own generator?

    Why would I want mains water when I can dig my own well?

    Why would I want main drains when I can muck out my own cess pit?

    Why would I want to set up VPN over the public Internet when I can lease my own line between London and New York for just £50000 a year?

    The utility model is the future of computing. There is no conceivable argument to the contrary. The operational and economic cases are simply too strong. Ways are and will continue to be found to make the model as secure and robust as people need it to be. The technology will mature as all technologies do, with possibly a few minor and a couple of major catastrophes along the way. It has always been thus.

    Luddites please go home - you are unbelievably boring.

    1. FoolD

      Erm, Luddites had a point

      - they warned that the machines would destroy jobs. They did.

      A better analogy for using SAS for critical business system might be:

      Why keep food in my cupboards, maintain a kitchen and cook myself (or indeed learn how to) when I can phone for a takeaway when I'm hungry ?

      That's not to say there aren't good aspects, but you do need a backup plan if you don't want to starve when the takeaway burns down...

    2. CABVolunteer

      A boring luddite writes......

      My data is unique to me, so by definition it's not a utility.

    3. Dodgy Pilot

      Hmm... cloud services already have a poor reputation for reliability (let's not even mention security and/or privacy) so it is quite understandable that those of us who directly feel the pain when things in the cloud aren't working aren't too impressed by it all. At least when things are local you have the opportunity to actually _do_ something rather than sit there hitting the refresh button on a status website hoping, praying for news.

      Luddites - no. Concerns of a real and practical nature do not make us Luddites.

      I'm sure, as you point out, that the Cloud will get its act together as it matures, but for now at least - it makes me (and many others) rather worried.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        one ?benefit? of the cloud

        Has anyone else seen a steady increase in the number of attacks from hosted systems and more importantly, has anyone been able to get the cloud providers to actually respond?

    4. Canecutter



      What is the data and computing equivalent of 60 Hz AC?

      What is the data and computing equivalent of potable water?

      The utility model is indeed a credible model for the future of computing, but I doubt we will get much further ahead the way we are going.

    5. MacGyver

      Re: Bored of luddites

      "The utility model is the future of computing. There is no conceivable argument to the contrary."

      Right, even forgetting the whole "everything somewhere else and everything in between" having to be working correctly to access your stuff, why would you EVER want to allow businesses to set-up a "pay-per-view" style of billing for using a computer? I guess in your world everybody has lots of money, and in your world you have choices in providers? If they ever get their little "cloud" services into the mainstream, the first thing that will happen will be the biggest corporation buying up their competitors, and when there are no more choices left, they will charge what ever they want. And we will pay, pay whatever they want, because they have all our data, and the programs that they run on.

      It's a huge jobs killer to boot, why pay for IT support when you can outsource those fees to India at a third the price.

      It's not secure.

      It's not only putting all your eggs in one basket, it's tying a string to it, handing it to a (hopefully) trained monkey that runs away with it and squirrels it away somewhere only he knows about, and hoping he brings it back when you pull on the string.

  11. Charles Smith

    Reliable software/Reliable Service

    It seems the Office 365 service operation has inherited its design ethos from the original Microsoft software.

  12. mjtrike97

    @petur 2.5 hours equals a whole day?

    1. cjjenks

      yes sir

      Yes, if you consider 2 1/2 hours of downtime to be an incomplete day.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    "Preliminary root cause suggests"

    Is that MSBull for "We haven't a clue what went wrong?"

  14. Frank Bitterlich

    So, this product is the solution to which problem again?

    Putting your documents into the cloud was advertised as the solution to your local machine crapping out, so that you can continue to work with your docs.

    So, to prevent problems when your machine gives up the ghost (80% of the time due to problems with the OS), you upload your documents to a service made by the same people whose software messed up your machine. And the you lose access to them, again, because they messed up their own service, too.

    What a surprise.

  15. DLSmith
    Thumb Down

    MS: Trust us will all your data.

    Me: Yeah, right. I'll get back to you on that.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reg: Can clouds ever be fully secure?


    I told you the answer was 'no' .

    Its still no.

  17. Dani Eder

    Cloud is for backup

    I use Skydrive as my 4th backup, after the primary PC, secondary PC, and USB hard drive. If it's down 1% of the time, that's OK, it's my offsite backup if the house burns down, at which point immediate access will not be my first concern.

  18. Phil Koenig

    DNS zone change? Wut?

    I for one would like to know why they had to push out a DNS zone update in order for their sites to start working again.

    That's like saying TheReg went down because overnight its DNS servers forgot what the IP was of its webserver or web proxy.*

    Something is fishy.

    *(Well yeah I know, but that was NetNames boffins forgetting - er, with a little help - what TheReg's IP addresses were. :P )

  19. PeterM42

    Cloud outages......

    .....told yer so.

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