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Microsoft Azure cloud services downed by series of problems

Microsoft’s cloud aspirations have taken a hit after its Azure service saw multiple outages over the past week that left customers unable to access any of the services on offer.

The last week has seen the service scuppered in the US, Brazil and Japan, according to Microsoft, and this is in addition to service-wide interruptions to other services such as Virtual Studio and the management portal.

Problems began on 8 August when customers in Japan suffered, in the words of Microsoft, a “partial performance degradation” that wasn’t fixed until the Monday after [11 August]. Customers in Japan experienced auto-scaling problems with Cloud Services and with Virtual Machines, and the firm’s Japan East data centre suffered the brunt of the problems.

Also on 8 August, the Azure management portal experienced issues that stopped users logging in with many receiving an "Error 500" message and engineers reported that “a retry would likely have resolved the issue for any impacted customers.”

It quickly became a black Friday for Azure as its western US region customers saw a “partial service interruption” that affected customers of its Cloud Services, Storage and Backup services.

Related: Microsoft Azure beats Amazon Web Services in cloud service performance test

Brazilian customers didn’t see problems until the 11 August when, for around four hours, “intermittent connectivity issues” hit Azure services deployed in the south of the country, Microsoft admitting it was related to network infrastructure.

Customers on the eastern side of the US weren’t left out as another “partial performance degradation” affected the data centre on 12 August with customers likely to have experienced “issues with proper data flow to their Auto-Scale configurations.”

Visual Studio Online, meanwhile, saw a full outage as customers reported problems related to latency and extended execution times and, though the service was restored after several hours, Microsoft is still investigating the root cause.

Microsoft has managed to repair all the problems with Azure and it forms a major part of Satya Nadella's plan to turn Microsoft into a company that generates significant revenues from the sector.