back to article Microsoft wants to link satellites to Azure – but it should probably fix its cloud first: Cooling outage hits UK COVID-19 portal, other sites

Microsoft is said to be eyeing up linking people to Azure via satellite – just as its cloud platform partially tripped over in the UK, derailing the country's coronavirus statistics page. The Windows giant today advised customers that one of its southern UK Azure zones is right now offline, and has been for more than four …

  1. fiddley

    So the cheapskates who didn’t pay for zone redundant services have seen their services fall over. Who could have saw that happening? WHO?

    1. TimMaher Silver badge


      Ah so. The World Health Organisation could have predicted it. Probably true.

      Covid-19 anyone?

    2. JassMan Silver badge


      To be fair, reading though Azure pricing structue, their FAQs and 'learn more' documents don't make it clear that you need to pay extra for redundancy. Cloud services have always been sold on the idea that they are distributed and that the provider handles all the maintenance, load balancing etc.

      This all makes it sound like Borkzilla are selling 'off site data center' services as if they are full cloud services. But then, when have they not overhyped everything they sell.

  2. iron Silver badge

    So the UK government hosted the COVID-19 information portal in a single availability zone? Cheap bastards.

    1. Len

      Covid testing and tech issues

      Last weekend I was on day twelve of quarantine after returning to the UK, and eager to be able leave the house again, when I developed some suspicious symptoms including a definitive viral infection.

      The symptoms started on Saturday but I wasn’t able to book a test until Tuesday. I know Serco (who are the people behind the misnamed NHS Test and Trace, it’s not run by the NHS) are having all sorts of issues with testing capacity but the problems started way earlier, on the government website.

      Quite often the pathway through the steps would just fail and you’d be sent back to the frontpage to fill in all your details again, and submit buttons felt like they were timing out and you weren’t sure whether they were registered,

      I tried three different browsers, disabled ad blockers, used incognito sessions all to no avail. It seemed like a server side issue.

      Needless to say, I got an appointment which nobody could find on the system once I got to the testing site. Fortunately I took a screenshot to prove I got that far in the web process. I did manage to get a test done (negative) but I can imagine that a lot of people who are not that tech savvy would have just given up even making an appointment.

      It seems we’re heading head first into a second wave and we still don’t have the basics of testing working.

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: So the UK government hosted the COVID-19 information portal in a single availability zone?

      They wanted to stop the spread (see my previous comment).

    3. Wilco

      Don't forget that It's your tax money that would have been paying (and paying a lot) for the extra resilience.

      A company loses money if its website is down, because the business goes elsewhere. The government does not. You'll just have to pay your taxes/get divorced/apply for benefits another time.

  3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Temperature Check

    Does the Azure data centre have any other symptoms?

    Failure to smell burning as it goes up in flames perhaps?

  4. NightFox

    So whose jurisdiction does data come under whilst it's in space bouncing off a satellite? Does the nationality, position and orbit (i.e. geostationary or not) of the satellite make a difference?

  5. loopfish

    Search Service = failed

    Even with the 2 replicas we have - one of our Search Service instances was failing during the outage.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll be back [up]!

    World spanning satellite connected cloud computing, and AI - what could possibly go wrong?


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