While Microsoft (News - Alert) wants more business customers to use Office 365, it will have to work out some kinks before people trust their e-mail to the cloud-based platform. In fact, Office 365 has suffered its second outage in five days.
Users reported problems being able to access their Office 365 e-mail accounts, which could scare off users tentatively thinking of transitioning to the offering.
“On Tuesday, Nov. 13, some customers served from our North America data centers are experiencing intermittent access to e-mail services,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. “Customers are being updated regularly via our normal communication channels. We sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.”
The technology giant then posted a message on its official Office 365 Twitter (News - Alert) account, after an apparent partial resolution to the problem which stated, “We are seeing some service restoration for #Office 365 email connectivity. More to come ASAP.” Later, Microsoft revealed that the Office 365 service had been fully restored.
This is the second time in November that the service has suffered an outage. On Nov. 8, Office 365’s e-mail service went down for North American users.
Rajesh Jha, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office division, explained what caused both outages in detail in a company blog post. The first outage was caused by the antivirus programs Microsoft employs to protect Office 365 users from malicious e-mails. The antivirus programs started to show a long latency, while the e-mail hosting system was configured to allow too many retries with too long a timeout option. Further, the outage on Tuesday was caused by a combination of maintenance, network failures and heavy loads on Office 365’s systems. The issue was resolved by rebalancing users onto less loaded servers.
“I'd like to apologize to you, our customers and partners, for the obvious inconveniences these issues caused,” Jha added. “We know that e-mail is a critical part of your business communication, and my team and I fully recognize our responsibility as your partner and service provider.”
Jha also commented that his team was looking into a post-mortem on the outages and that Microsoft would issue service credits to people affected.
Edited by Jamie Epstein