Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Service Experiences a Bump in Europe Overnight

Apparently, bad days in the cloud aren’t limited to Amazon. Microsoft confirmed that its Windows Azure service experienced some outages in Europe, during what were the early morning hours in the U.S.

At 11:09 am UTC, or about 7:09 am ET, Microsoft confirmed on its Windows Azure status page that its service was “experiencing an availability issue in the West Europe sub-region.” Troubleshooting proceeded for two hours until Microsoft said the issue had been resolved.

No comments yet from Microsoft about what happened; I have reached out, and will update when I hear back. It wasn’t clear how many customers were affected, though GigaOM noticed a Tweet by a service called SoundGecko blaming its availability problems on Azure. The service had a much rougher day when the existence of Leap Day — the extra day in February that gets added to the calendar every four years — caused an outage.

You’d think there would have been a lot of complaints on Twitter and elsewhere, but I didn’t notice any. When Amazon Web Services crashes, as it does from time to time — most recently on June 30 — it takes with it a batch of high-profile Web properties that rely on its data centers for uptime. When a lightning strike in Northern Virginia whacked the backup power at an Amazon data center there, sites like Instagram, Netflix and Pinterest took temporary dives as well.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik