On November 8th, from 11:24 a.m. to 7:25 p.m. PST, customers in both North and South America experienced an eight-hour outage of their Office 365 Exchange Online service, resulting in prolonged mail flow delays. A similar event happened on November 13th, which lasted for over five hours.
In a blog post regarding the disruption, Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Division, Rajesh Jha revealed that the company will be issuing service credits to customers hit by the e-mail service outages. He also added that the outages have been resolved and a review is underway to prevent a re-occurrence.
"All of us in the Office 365 team and at Microsoft appreciate the serious responsibility we have as a service provider to you, and we know that any issue with the service is a disruption to your business -- that's not acceptable," noted Jha. "I want to assure you that we are investing the time and resources required to ensure we are living up to your -- and our own -- expectations for a quality service experience every day."
Additionally, CRN News wrote that Jha's post offers detailed descriptions for the causes of both the service problems. As per the report, the November 8 service outage started when an anti-virus engine identified a virus being sent to subscribers, but "started to exhibit a lot of latency even as it handled the messages. To make matters worse, the service was configured in a way that it allowed too many retries and too long of a timeout for those messages, causing a significant backlog of valid e-mail messages.
The November 13th problem was due to a combination of things, such as maintenance, network element failures, and increased load on the service.While formally apologizing for these e-mail problems, Jha extended a service credit to those customers impacted by the unfortunate outages.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein