back to article Microsoft Office 365 Exchange issues for users across Europe

Microsoft customers across Europe are reporting problems connecting to Exchange Online, including an inability to connect as well as time lags. "We are investigating connectivity issues to Exchange Online for some customers in Europe," Microsoft admitted this morning. Meanwhile, users took to Twitter to gripe. Office 365 …

  1. Lysenko

    We've contacted Microsoft for comment. ®

    It's a bit early in the day, but you deserve it for resisting the temptation to "reach out" to them. Keep up the good work.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: We've contacted Microsoft for comment. ®

      They will be busy "tasking out some actions to the team"

    2. DailyLlama

      Re: We've contacted Microsoft for comment. ®

      At least they weren't trying to touch base, the perverts...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We've contacted Microsoft for comment. ®

        And when they've surfaced the cause, they'll be sure to action you.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

    It should now be Office 352...

    1. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

      Well fair enough, though I do think anybody posting an O365 availability gag should declare the availability achieved on their own on-prem service for the last five years .... partly in the interest of balance, partly because I'll swear I'm some where on the spectrum and that sort of pointless attention to detail calms my restless mind.

      Paris, because that's were you can't get your email this morning.

      1. Lee D

        Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

        To be honest, I'm only running a tiny little place here (a prep school) but:

        Better than 1 day of downtime a year in the last few years (in fact, I'd say about 48 hours total over those years over 4-5 incidents).

        Now I'm not running any number of seriously major services, but I have websites, databases, 100's of people accessing information 24/7, remote desktops, in-house desktops, hundreds of mobile devices, email, etc. etc. etc.

        The day of downtime is usually only "the power is going off" (notification from the electricity board) and it's usually a Saturday (so not at all critical).

        Achieving decent uptime isn't difficult. GUARANTEEING it is incredibly difficult. I couldn't, at any point, have GUARANTEED we'd be up the next day to any serious extent. The leased lines aren't THAT reliable. The servers might well fall over. I could easily fudge the network config and take things down. Microsoft could de-activate all my servers. There's a range of things outside my reasonable control as just an IT department.

        But *achieving* better rates than that isn't difficult. Does that give me place to trash-talk MS? In jest, sure. In all seriousness, no, we're in entirely different businesses with entirely different requirements.

        What irks me, though, is companies complaining about 365 Exchange downtime when they don't have any other kind of backup. Is it not possible to have a local Exchange server work in collaboration with the 365 Exchange to ensure you're up even when it's down? Or to failover your MX to the secondary mail for your domain? I thought this was the first lesson in "enterprise IT", no?

        Use 365/Azure, by all means. But there's nothing stopping you having backups, alternatives, failovers, secondaries etc. to keep yourself running.

        Complaining that your single points of failure are down is really a show that you didn't specify the system well enough to start.

        1. Alien8n

          Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

          @Lee D

          In short, not that I know of. We're currently running a hybrid Exchange and even that doesn't help with this kind of outage. We have one user still to migrate, but as it's the boss's wife it's easier to wait until she's in the office than try and catch her between business trips and holidays.

          We took the plunge to go hosted 365 for a very simple reason, and even with all the issues today that reason is still valid. We have some very mobile users. By which I mean they travel to China on frequent business trips and for some reason there's always been one who cannot get their emails when abroad. The switch to O365 has meant that they no longer need to VPN into the business to collect emails, something which has always been a bit of an issue due to Chinese hotels running their own VPNs.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

        "Well fair enough, though I do think anybody posting an O365 availability gag should declare the availability achieved on their own on-prem service for the last five years"

        That's fair enough.

        My email server has been available, in the last 3 years of its existence, all but 2 of those days.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

          Bravo @wolfetone - have a seasonally-adjusted upvote from me

      3. defiler


        "availability achieved on their own on-prem service for the last five years"

        My On-Prem mailbox availability has averaged 365.2 days per year since 2012-09-18. That is, I have not had a single day when the users were unable to access their email in five years.

        Yes, I'm proud of that. No, I'm not taking it for granted. If we're going to punish me, we can drop it to maybe 365.1 days and accept that there's maybe been a half day in total when the Transport Hub has stalled on a machine and has needed a swift kick to resume committing messages to the Information Store.

        I'm generally fairly generous and call it Office 358. After all, everyone needs a week off from time to time.

      4. Domquark

        Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

        Of all the on-premises servers that I look after, the worst two down times were

        a: 3 hours for HDD failure on a server that is 8 years old (22.5 minutes per year average downtime)

        b: 2.5 hours (mostly traveling to site) for a failed PSU - that server is 7 years old (21.43 minutes per year average downtime)

        Both servers are still running perfectly. OK, so I'm not including out of hours reboots for updates, but I don't have customers with Microsoft's budget for failover servers etc.......

        So much for the resilience of the cloud!

        1. Alien8n

          Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

          To be fair to MS their actual mail servers are still up and running. This is more like the switch the server is plugged into having an issue and not routing the traffic correctly. So from that perspective we shouldn't be just looking at server downtime, but also network downtime. And lets face it, anyone who's used Virgin Media will know how painful it is when an entire network decides it doesn't want to play anymore.

          1. GSTZ

            Re: Virgin Media and Office 365

            Maybe Microsoft's bit barns aren't that bad and network congestion is contributing to the poor service levels frequently observed. Can anybody explain to me why dull entertainment ought to be streamed via the Internet when there is ample bandwidth available via traditional TV channels (cable/satellite) ? And there is even the offline alternative of using CD's and DVD's - nice bandwidth achieved by walking to the next store, and good for health as well ...

    2. Hans 1

      Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

      Office 352 ? You serious ?

      I was at Office 320 in July 2017 ... iirc:


      Trump icon, more appropriate, imho ... remember, it is not funny, it is sad!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

      Says 27 but I'm not so sure.

      I gave up counting a long time ago.

      It won't be long before they rename it with a new logo.

      Can I suggest "Office Cloud" then they can explain away any outages as weather phenomenon?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 'Exchange' is closed

    so BAU then?

    Ducks to avoid incoming missiles

  4. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Ah, the joys of the uptime on the "cloud".

    Feels less like Office 365 and more like Office 3.1 every day...

    1. Wade Burchette

      Except Office 3.1 didn't have that accursed ribbon to deal with, just the logical easy-to-understand, easy-to-use "File Edit ..." menu structure.

    2. Hans 1

      Ah, the joys of the uptime on the "cloud".

      Please do not mistake the "cloud" with Slurp's offering ... it has nothing to do with the offering of other players in the "cloud" arena. I mean, Slurp have had downtime every month since January, except for the pause over August, guess they froze the system with the many personal leaves (holiday makers)...

      My personal guess ? Office 365 Exchange servers are being patched .... those 5 reboots do take their toll ...

  5. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    We've contacted Microsoft for comment

    By email?

  6. Neill Mitchell

    Waiting for the default statement

    I'm sure it will only be "affecting a small number of users".

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Waiting for the default statement

      ...forgetting that with the size of O365 even a small percentage of users having a problem will mean millions of people with no email.

  7. LesB

    Or you could have the actual information

    Title: Can't connect to Exchange Online

    User Impact: Users may have been unable to connect to the Exchange Online service.

    Final status: After a period of monitoring the service, we can confirm that rerouting traffic restored availability.

    Scope of impact: This issue could have potentially affected any of your users intermittently if they were routed through the affected infrastructure.

    Start time: Monday, September 18, 2017, at 7:20 AM UTC

    End time: Monday, September 18, 2017, at 10:00 AM UTC

    Preliminary root cause: A subset of mailbox infrastructure became degraded, causing impact to availability.

    Next steps:

    - We're analyzing performance data and trends on the affected systems to help prevent this problem from happening again.

    This is the final update for the event.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Or you could have the actual information

      That was certainly data, but I'm not sure there was actually any information there:

      user impact: it didn't work

      root cause: something broke

      final status: not broken

      next steps: crossing our fingers

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Or you could have the actual information

        What is so strange about this whole "cloud" thing is that it can be broken and nobody in the C-suite appears to give a toss. If the same thing happened on-prem then everyone would be running around like blue-arsed flies wanting it fixed.

        The disparity between what is acceptable on-prem and in the cloud given that they are supposed to be delivering the same service is an indication of the skill of the cloudy sale people at selling snake oil.

  8. AIBailey

    I've been having issues being unable to send mail since about 11 this morning. Still not fixed :-(

    1. richardcox13

      > I've been having issues being unable to send mail

      Many would consider that an advantage.

    2. Hans 1
      Paris Hilton

      Not sure if you have a say, where I work, I do not have a say when it comes to productivity software ...

      If your business chose Office 319, the worst performer in cloud to date ... that EVEN if we say Azure was launched on Jan 1 2017 ... regardless of metrics .... lets take days downtime of any component, Azure Jan 1 2017 to date fares less well than Amazon AWS in the period March 2006 to Sept 2017 ... YES, 9 months compared to 11 years!

      Same for Google, IBM, YES, AND Oracle ... you name it, Slurp has had more downtime than any other provider ... I have not checked, but I guess Slurp has had more down time than ALL OTHER MAJOR CLOUDY PROVIDERS EVER COMBINED, all that in 2017 alone!

      That, and Azure is widely used, #2 cloudy choice ... go figure ... I know corporate policies etc, etc, etc ... Hello, Windows Cleaners and Surface Experts, anybody in ?

      Seriously, 46 days of down time, without counting ~6* weeks of downtime logging into Office "365" with Firefox ...

      * approx 6 weeks as I did not try every week ... grew tired after 3 weeks of trying daily...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Citation please....

        Any chance of a source for this utter waffle, especially the downtime claim?

  9. Ben1892

    ....technically we'd need to multiply the avg number of failures by the total number of businesses to get a comparison with Office 365 - at this rate I think we'd need less than 700 companies to 'fess-up their failures this year and we'd have 0 days up-time :)

  10. Shocksmith

    Was down first thing here, then OK for a bit and now intermittently connecting. By no means normal service. Something is FUBAR

  11. wyatt

    Interesting that my mum has also text me to say her email (outlook/hotmail) isn't working!

    1. taliesyn issues since about 9:20am BST here

      Your mum was on to something...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Must be catching...

    As our on-prem, back-pressured to the max, BOFH 'managed' Exchange 2010 server farm was crap today too. Wait, it was crap yesterday, and the day before...

    1. Domquark

      Re: Must be catching...

      But unlike O365, your on-premises Exchange was still working!

  13. LesB

    Fawlty Towers moose incident

    It's up!

    It's down!

    Looks like the wet string used to fix this morning's incident has dried out[1].

    [1] I think that's what they said

  14. @brykins, too

    I noticed it this afternoon in the UK - sat and sent off about ten emails via my phone (using imap/smtp). No-one has received them, they're not in my drafts, they're not in my sent items. Logged in to and they're not there either. Just gone. Nowhere.

  15. Paul_H
    Thumb Down

    We have had email woes all day on and off, despite Microsoft telling us it was all fixed.

  16. HWwiz


    This has been a total PITA for us today. Hardly any mailflow at all for 1,400 staff.

    We all told the IT director 4yrs ago it would be a bad idea to get rid of our Exchange cluster. Which we owned with perpetual licenses...

    But oh no, got to go with this new fangled Cloud hosting, because its what all the big boys are doing..


  17. N2

    Expect problems and delays...

    Same old shite, different day.

  18. Dazzz

    aaaand the issues are back again today....

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