back to article Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

Folks around the planet are today unable to use Microsoft Skype and Office 365's Outlook due to a baffling "Throttled" error message. The weird text box pops up in the chat software and cloud-backed email client, preventing people from sending messages, and talking to contacts. This is, according to Microsoft, due to a …

  1. ecofeco Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I NEVER get tired of posting this

    How's that cloud thing working out for ya?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      Alternately: "How's that Microsoft thing working out for ya'?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

        It's great! I get to do fuck all and actually have an excuse.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      Yep. Now that I have a few years of observations on this, I can say without reservation that the people I know who rely on cloudy services suffer a lot more downtime than those who don't. Outside of a specific use case (being able to quickly change the scale of a deployment), I honestly can't think of a solid advantage to using the cloud. It looks more expensive and less reliable on the whole.

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

        Outside of a specific use case (being able to quickly change the scale of a deployment), I honestly can't think of a solid advantage to using the cloud. It looks more expensive and less reliable on the whole.

        Not really, it's how it's implemented. Implementation in a deficient way, where a region shuts down or errors disabling the cluster, bad. Implementation where such a thing springs up nodes to replace them, good. Rejoin them once they're back online, unfuck the clusterfuck of changes between the two at one's leisure, which is milliseconds at worst in a modern environment.

        Seriously, I have 64 processors, with cores added, per brick, got two dozen of them in two cinder blocks in the rack.

        I have, actually, more off site.

        Not figuring out how to balance on site and off site, bad planning of the entire debacle to be.

        And I plan on outage of a major sort, at the most vulnerable point, just to avoid a problem and worse, unscheduled overtime.

        Overtime is for real emergencies or for work that I have scripts to do, while I surf the web.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: "Not really, it's how it's implemented."

          I don't care how it's implemented if it's falling over all the time.

          Explaining why is all nice and good, but it doesn't change the fact that The Cloud (TM) is as reliable as it is solid.

          I'm glad you have your contingency plans. More companies need to wake up to that fact.

      2. Steve_Jobs1974

        Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

        REG: Yeah. All right, Stan, and what has the Cloud ever given us in return?!

        XERXES: Scale on Demand?

        REG: What?

        XERXES: Scale on Demand

        REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.

        COMMANDO #3: Agility.

        LORETTA: Oh, yeah, the Agility, Reg. Remember how slow it used to be to get hardware in and configure it, 3 months wait minimum.

        REG: Yeah. All right. I'll grant you can scale on demand and the agility are the two things that the Cloud has brought.

        MATTHIAS: Go global in minutes.

        REG: Well, yeah. Going Global. I mean, that goes without saying? But apart from the Scaling on Demand, Agility, and going Global--

        COMMANDO: Serverless.

        XERXES: AI, speech to text, machine learning, translation, all on-demand

        COMMANDOS: Huh? Heh? Huh...

        COMMANDO #2: DevOps.

        COMMANDOS: Ohh...

        REG: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.

        LORETTA: Only paying for Windows licences when they're in use

        FRANCIS: Oh yeah that’s right Reg, we used to have to commit to licences for three years up front, whether we used them the whole time or not, total waste of money

        COMMANDOS: Yeah, that’s true

        COMMANDO #1: And all the managed services.

        COMMANDOS: Oh, yes. Yeah...

        FRANCIS: Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the Cloud left. Huh.

        COMMANDO: .

        LORETTA: And we get all that security that allows banks to run on the cloud, we could never afford to go to that level ourselves

        FRANCIS: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.

        COMMANDOS: Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

        REG: All right, but apart from the scaling on demand, the agility, going global in minutes, serverless, AI, speech to text, machine learning, translation, DevOps, licencing, managed services, and security, what has the Cloud ever done for us?

        XERXES: Reduced cost

        REG: Oh. Cost? Shut up!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sharepoint also hosed

      At my work, Sharepoint, Outlook & Skype were all hosed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sharepoint also hosed

        Sh**ePoint hosed is just "situation normal", isn't it?

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Sharepoint also hosed

        "At my work, Sharepoint, Outlook & Skype were all hosed."

        So, it's not all bad news!

    4. Wzrd1

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      Cloudy, with a chance of meatballs.

      As usual.

      Same old, same old for root cause, over reliance on a geographical location with "preferred" links elected by the controllers, which then become unavailable and wreak havoc on the entire network until communications are restored and the flood of changes are propagated (OK, massively Goobered down version there).

      Noticed it at work, noticed a roll back scheduled and erroring, due to it being rushed through change management.

      BOFH MK-IV, occupying PFY's position currently. Little could be more dangerous than that. ;)

      End result, Outrage, erm, Outlook hangs and is slow in updating. Same with Skype for MonkeyBusiness.

      I'm blaming the HCU just outside of our star system for it. The bored Heavy Offensive Unit, the size of our moonish, was bored and introduced an intentional error to see the monkeys scatter about and throw scat at one another.

      Or a programming team made a massive, glaring error, which they see what they think is there and not what is actually there in the code. Been there, done that, wore out that tee shirt. Back before said programmers were born.

      Blaming an entire technology convergence is just idiotic. Over-reliance on a still immature technology, possibly yes, but we're stuck with what the vendor offers.

      Ever look at Microsoft's certification portfolio? Looks like it was written by sales.

      Seriously, find me a pathway that can find someone properly trained to find a resultant set of policy in a corporate environment of even moderate membership!

      While I manage to figure out RSOP in my head to a minimum of 18 sets and frequently manage far beyond that.

      Did a correction on a errored RSOP on New Year's Eve, when all of the on call couldn't figure out the debacle.

      The debacle originated on making a significant change just before a major farking holiday! Worse, by junior staff and even worse, being rubber stamped at the end of the fragging day!

      Fucking morons.

      Took me 20 minutes, being quite well bathed in ethanol and logging in, due to being made on call, when I was solidly off call, looking at the cloistersmurf from hell that that team crafted (I strongly suspect that they began their celebrations and libations a full week before, considering the nature of changes and level), unfouled the mess in my head and ran a RSOP on it, got bored and applied it to fix the issue before I got the damned results.

      Called out dead on the second, recovered on the third. Purely out of spite and besides, an old and long missed coworker, back in my ancient carpentry days, called out dead for the holiday weekend to excellent effect.

      1. Dave559

        Re: cloistersmurf

        Aieee, now I have this vision of smurfs vigorously smurfing in monks/nuns clothing, you bad, bad man/woman/smurf…

    5. wyatt

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      A number of police forces are moving their command and control telephony systems to hosted providers. I can’t wait for the first issue to give them that look..

    6. MotionCompensation

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      After decades of BOFH treatment, moving it all to cloud so you don't have to deal with that hellish thing called an IT department anymore feels like a pretty good solution. When that cloud experiences a hiccup and it's all over the media, worldwide, it feels good to know that your problem is taken serious enough to make the headlines, instead of IT telling you they have other priorities. Perhaps it's time we (IT) take a good hard look at our own performance, instead of making smug remarks every time there's cloud outage.

      Bring on the down votes.

      1. Chrissy

        Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

        Why do you assume that something being a headline in, say, the Daily Mail means that (for example) Microsoft is taking it seriously? The 2 have nothing to do with each other..... I present as evidence TSB.

        IT telling you "they have other priorities" just might be because they have a list of priorities set by someone besides you who has scored those priorities in a cold and calm manner using several factors - £ cost/min of outage versus reputational cost/min etc etc - that you might not even be aware of.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

        "Perhaps it's time we (IT) take a good hard look at our own performance,"

        Who are you calling 'we' Paleface?

        /get back in your meeting room...

    7. fobobob

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      Outlook cloudy; I'll get back to you when the weather improves.

    8. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: I NEVER get tired of posting this

      There's n cloud. There are only other people's computers.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who needs a test department?

    What was the department that Microsoft let go? Oh, yes it was the test department! The folks that would test changes before they were released. Such a far-sighted and successful move.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Who needs a test department?

      Let go? No, they were hired out to the TSB.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Who needs a test department?

      "The folks that would test changes before they were released."

      Couple that with releasing a change whilst trying to remediate a power/hardware problem.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who needs a test department?

      That's the unacceptable face of freedom.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Hubris of Cloud

    It might actually become man's greatest downfall. Anyway, whose up for betting that today's outage doesn't even appear in the massaged metrics during sales presentations to firms by 'someone else's computer' salesmen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      URL link to all Cloud Outages past 5 years?

      I want to bring this to meetings with senior executives... We need a Wikipedia or some easily accessible public link to all the Cloud outages. Its just too easy to skip over intermittent failures otherwise... Or try to explain them or excuse them away....

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: URL link to all Cloud Outages past 5 years?

        I want to bring this to meetings with senior executives... We need a Wikipedia or some easily accessible public link to all the Cloud outages. Its just too easy to skip over intermittent failures otherwise... Or try to explain them or excuse them away....

        Seriously, have you ever heard of Google? It's a really cool site, found at https://www.googlel.com. There, you can search for such failures being mentioned. Even get a count of reports. Even look for scholarly articles on scholar.google.com.

        Hint: You'd never get to work for me, if HR hired, you, *they* would get fired.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: "It's a really cool site, found at https://www.googlel.com."

          I don't think so. I tried, and the browser said "Site Not Found".

          </sarcasm>

          I would also appreciate a website clearly listing cloud failures, date, time, reason and duration. Searching with Google is possible, but there's too much noise for anything precise.

          Actually, El Reg is not a bad place to search. Just search for TITSUP and you'll get a lot of good hits.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "It's a really cool site, found at https://www.googlel.com."

            Shodan is a good site to search for clouds which haven't failed yet, but very soon will.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Steve_Jobs1974

        Re: URL link to all Cloud Outages past 5 years?

        Cloud Harmony provides this data if you subscribe

        Be careful about lumping Azure in with all Cloud Providers, they are not the same in terms of reliability and especially comparing against AWS.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: The Hubris of Cloud

      Hardly. The wheel will turn again, and by the end of next decade the new thing will be "user-centric computing" or some such buzzword that means bringing the functionality back out to the client and not having everything depend on servers halfway across the country.

      After all, once everyone is on the cloud, how will IT companies sell new stuff to their clients? By telling them their "cloud" stuff is old and tired, and needs replaced with Buzzword Bingo 2030!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Hubris of Cloud

        looking at the curve for CPU performance and especially Price v. Performance on the low end, there'd be every reason to bring it back. Local loads that over-stress the user's device get automagically get translated to "The Cloud" when required especially for always on devices. Same for any other workload, there doesn't exist any boundary between local and remote.

        That's my call, probably wrong. I doubt I'll be around to see 2030, so no downside to being wrong.

  4. Patched Out
    Facepalm

    "Gee ..."

    "...As long as the system is already down due to the storms, why don't we go ahead and install this update while we are bringing the systems back online?"

    "What could possibly go wrong?"

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: "Gee ..."

      Of course we don't know if update installation is optional even if you are a Microsoft system administrator. For all we know, their first clue that the system was being updated was a message telling them "Getting Windows Ready. Don't Turn Off Your Computer" or some such.

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: "Gee ..."

      "What could possibly go wrong?"

      Once, on a US military installation in the middle of a massive desert, we had a flood.

      Even I, a paranoid contingency planner type, didn't plan of a flood.

      The area, high calcium carbonate compact layer (old natural concrete from ancient coral shoals), composing the "bedrock" of the area, six to eighteen inches below the topsoil.

      A 3/4 inch water pipe ruptured, spilling out heaven knows how many gallons of water.

      End result, a manhole filled with water - our primary telephone trunk occupying manhole.

      Network, being optical and continuous, operated normally.

      Fine day of no telephone ringing.

      Turned out, all telephones on the mid range military installation were entirely out.

      Oddly, my IP based secure telephone never rang to report a major outage. Which was far outside of policy.

      And noted in the subsequent staff meeting.

      The policy being, use *every* form of communication when losing primary communication.

      I literally look for smoke signals, when outside.

      Morons failed entirely to do anything other than, initially, try a web interface. Failed, halt.

      Two used a telephone, failing that, used a secure telephone communications network that was optically based.

      Which utterly ruined a very fine day for me.

      Turned it from maintenance to recovery in a New York minute, which is measured in Planc units.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Cloud

    Lol.

  6. SVV Silver badge

    Cloud based authrentication

    Need a new name for this service. How about Inactive Directory?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Facepalm

    No shit! Here I was thinking it was because they just finished rolling out the "upgrade" to 365 just this week. Who coulda thunk it?

  8. tfewster Silver badge
    Joke

    FTFY, MS

    "We're taking corrective actions to address an issue in which users are receiving a message revealing that they are being throttled when accessing Outlook or Skype. More details denials on this event can be found ..."

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Dvon of Edzore
    WTF?

    Hurricane-grade storms? Not even close.

    As an admin of several sites around San Antonio, where Microsoft's purported data center is located, I can state that none of my sites reported any service outages. They are all monitored by a third party service and located in standard office buildings. Neither were there massive blackouts reported on the news, nor did the lights so much as flicker in my home during this heavy rain event. (Tenth-highest in city history, thus well within expectations.) Whatever problems Microsoft had were confined to their campus.

    There's cheap, and then there's multiple-single-points-of-failure cheap.

    1. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Hurricane-grade storms? Not even close.

      If the price of gas didn't go up, then Texas didn't have unusual weather.

      They might want to review the principles of proper grounding, if lightning was the real cause.

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: Hurricane-grade storms? Not even close.

        If the price of gas didn't go up, then Texas didn't have unusual weather.

        An interesting phenomenon frequently reported and related in the Philadelphia area, as the entire Delaware River is lousy with refineries from coast to Philly and beyond.

        Somehow, our gasoline prices soar, due to a Houston problem.

        Yet the very same company complains over ACA cost sharing.

  11. Scriptor

    we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

    As a technician that handles about 50 clients varying between 10 and 500 users each, I can tell you that if you don't like the cloud you should just go spend money on therapy and try and get over it since we are going to the cloud whether you like it or not.

    It's a better solution to almost every enterprise problem than on-premise anything. Do outages occur? Yep, whats worse tho, an outage that microsoft spends it's time fixing or one you do? Because they will still happen to you even if you don't have cloud based anything. Power goes out, how long does your UPS last, bro?

    As technology advances outages will become so short and unnoticeable that all you whiners will finally have something to point to and go "oh, I actually didn't know the first thing about what I was complaining about".

    Enjoy being bad at computers tho.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      You're right of course but the luddites here don't want to hear that.

      They'd rather jump on every outage (of which there are very few when you factor the scale of cloud), as an excuse not to learn a new technological paradigm and hang onto their old skills, fine if they plan to retire in the next 5 years otherwise their prognosis is not good.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

        "as an excuse not to learn a new technological paradigm and hang onto their old skills"

        Why do you assume that critics of the cloud don't know how to work with the cloud?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

          What he said. I for one know exactly why I don't use social media.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

        The only possible way my systems would suddenly fail with a message like that would be if they'd been hacked.

      3. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

        jump on every outage (of which there are very few when you factor the scale of cloud)

        What you're missing here is that an outage in "the cloud" likely as not affects whole geographic regions. In this instance, half the globe by the sound of it.

        Something goes wrong in an on-premises system, local systems go down, life in the rest of the world carries on as normal.

        Something goes wrong in a shared off-premises system, dozens or hundreds (or more) of companies suddenly wonder if it's worth taking the afternoon off because, short of calling the issue in (if the phones are actually working) there's nothing more they can do than wait.

        M.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

        Or of course they could learn Microsoft technologies.

        Fine if they plan to retire in the next 6 months, otherwise they're going to have to learn it all over again.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      "Yep, whats worse tho, an outage that microsoft spends it's time fixing or one you do?"

      Microsoft's problems arising from an outage are any penalties in its SLA. End user companies' problems arising from an outage are loss of business during the outage, ongoing loss of business from those customers who went elsewhere and didn't come back, and trying to sort out any inconsistencies in data mangled by the outage or resulting from falling back to manual operations.

      Who has the greater incentive to keep systems up and running and to fix them when they fall over?

    3. Steve Knox
      Facepalm

      Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      Yep, whats worse tho, an outage that microsoft spends it's time fixing or one you do?

      One Microsoft spends its time fixing. Because they "fix" it by deploying an untested update which prolongs the pain. Did you even read the article?

      Power goes out, how long does your UPS last, bro?

      Til my generator kicks in. Which works until the issue is over or until the secondary site is brought up. That's what happens when you properly plan business continuity solutions, instead of chasing buzzwords.

      Enjoy being bad at computers tho.

      Right back at you, bro.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      It's a better solution to almost every enterprise problem than on-premise anything. Do outages occur? Yep, whats worse tho, an outage that microsoft spends it's time fixing or one you do? Because they will still happen to you even if you don't have cloud based anything. Power goes out, how long does your UPS last, bro?

      The UPS may last for 2-3 hours when the power goes out, but the access to the local server and the cloud would last for the same amount of time when the power goes out. This is because your example is an event that affects both the local server and clients.

      The cloud is someone else's computer. There's nothing wrong with using it, but there's a problem when you overly depend on it without any backups. Without backups, you have not control of what happens to the data in the cloud. You snooze you lose.

    5. Wzrd1

      Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      The problem isn't the technology, it's the shitty way people like you choose to employ it, were warned by us and we were ignored and it blew up the enterprise.

      Then, you fail by trying to blame us and we have tons of notes and memos that proved we had grave reservations over "implementation X", which subsequently blew up.

      Thank you!

      Proved our points, yet again, Pointy Haired Boss moron.

      Single point of failure, bad, especially when it's a fucking cluster. Shared traffic amongst clusters as super groups, good, negotiating constantly for roles.

      Adds overhead, but adds reliability.

      So, how many bowls of stupid flakes to you enjoy in the morning, with moron milk liberally applied to them?

      Plan for failure modes and recovery, not trust the shit actually always fucking works.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      Hey, l33t h4x0r boi, you'll find that most people here consider "technician with 500-25,000 users" too banal to even bother putting on their resume... No-one needs to know the rookie stuff!

      It's "know-all" newbies like you that are the cause of many previously solved computer problems reoccurring in cycles. The only thing new about "the cloud" is the overgrown size of the thing, and the stupid name.

      Learn from history. Don't be part of the crowd that give us the 90's Microsoft backwards thinking.

  12. ratfox Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Skype?

    What year is it?

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Skype?

      Year = Format("YYYY", Now())

  13. adnim Silver badge

    Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft?

    Many, many.. ad infinitum times (I exaggerate, a little).

    From my first experience with DOS 3.0 all the way to Windows 10.

    Fortunately, I get paid for my misery.

    1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft?

      Do you get paid enough though, for said misery?

  14. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Probably already been said before

    Office360?

  15. MacroRodent Silver badge
    FAIL

    Centralisation

    Eggs: meet the One Basket.

    Originally the email system was very decentralised, with most organisations hosting their own servers. The trend towards everyne using "clouded" mail services by Microsoft and Google means we will be seeing a lot more of this in the future.

  16. whitepines Silver badge
    Happy

    Meanwhile, at my Linux and BSD-centric employer, we got work done instead of sitting around getting paid for doing nothing. Emails magically worked, phones seemed to ring and dial out just fine. Organisation internal cloud is working just fine, as it has for literally years on end. Got to go home on time too instead of putting in lots of overtime like certain Microsoft dependent shops will be doing later today / tomorrow / whenever it comes back up.

    Non-external-cloudy bliss...

  17. MJI Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Strangling?

    No I was considering writing to the MOD asking them to drop a Trident on MS.

    Now that would have made my job easier.

    People moved from Netware to Windows "server" and had the cheek to complain their software was a LOT slower.

    OF COURSE IT WAS, IT IS WHAT YOU WANTED!

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Strangling?

      I was working in a corporation in the 1990's and they switched from Lotus Notes which the users were very good at creating business apps to MS Outlook and Exchange which could not seem to do much with themselves.

      I was puzzled at the time why they did this and I am convinced it was just some sort of corporate conspiracy to get rid of Lotus from the computer industry.

      Same sort of thing happened with Flash. Web developers loved it and users enjoyed the fancy animations but no we have to get rid of it, along with wolf whistling and proper light bulbs.

  18. cortland

    It's Texas, Silly!

    Between 1997 in 2002, I had an interesting position in Northern California with a firm based in Texas (since absorbed by others) . Telecom Valley has long since dried up and blown away, but I have a lot of memories of that time.

    I was the de facto EMC expert in the R&D department there, and beside monitoring designs in progress, was often called on to fix problems that developed in the field. One such problem came up shortly before the inevitable layoffs began and one got me; equipment in Texas was shutting down mysteriously, not a cloud in the sky, nor high tension power lines collapsing on the telephone outside plant, no, not that.

    Protective devices on telephone lines were just quietly dying of overload, burning out and and taking down-line equipment "off the net", as we would say now.

    They had at the time other EMC engineers than myself, the headquarters being in Texas, so I am confident (ha!) somebody eventually fixed that – but here's my theory.

    Clouds passing over the millions of miles of lines across the state carried quite sizable charges, despite never discharging via lightning until things REALLY got "charged up". And as they passed over portions of the network, the charge they carried induced a flow of current between different parts of the land-line system. Equipment protectors being designed to handle short if exceedingly high currents, were burning out because these slowly rising and slowly falling peaks of current exceeded their ability to dissipate it as heat.

    It's a good theory, anyway. It's never nice to fool Mother Nature.

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: It's Texas, Silly!

      I think it's well known that long copper phone lines pick up electricity. It's possible the line protection was not up to the job but there is not really any excuse to get this wrong, phone lines have been in use 100 years in the 1990's.

  19. Laughing Gravy

    I need a new popcorn machine

    Loving all these M$ fuckup stories

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What comes out of clouds?

    - Rain

    - Thunder

    - Lightning

    - Snow

    - Ice

    The updraft of marketing cannot hide the deluge that will happen one day.

    If the service is down then it isn't a proper cloud operation.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: What comes out of clouds?

      Sunbeams. You can't have sunbeams without clouds.

      And, besides, without clouds you wouldn't have had JP Reubens painting pink chubby cherubs romping around on town hall ceilings everywhere, now, would you?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: What comes out of clouds?

        Can't have Sunbeams without first Avengers

  21. one crazy media

    How is MS powering their data centers?

    With 9v batteries and bread boarding wires?

  22. johnnyblaze

    Well, if you will put all your eggs in a fluffy thing somewhere out there that's actually just vapour and nothing solid, and expect 99.999% uptime like any decent on-prem datacenter can provide - good luck to you. The fixation with the cloud, and the funniest part - thinking it can actually save you money, will eventually blow up big time, but by that point, with companies facing multi-year lockins, and having already fired their on-prem IT staff and decommissioned their kit, it will all be too late for them.

  23. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Joke

    Storm Takes Clouds Offline

    I bet someone, somewhere, is just waiting to use that headline...

  24. daughterofdevil
    FAIL

    VisualStudio and MSDN

    For me VisualStudio (online licensing) and MSDN were also affected. Took about 2 hours to be able to work again.

    Start VS, get coding - a popup message about invalid license appears.

    Click 'search for an updated license' - nothing (apart from an error message) happens.

    Try to login to MSDN to get a product key - MSDN barely loading and login.live.com not loading.

    Try the login button on microsoft.com - it's just text and no longer 'clickable'.

    Rinse and repeat for about 2 hours until VS could get an updated license.

    Right now it seems to be working again but I am really happy that my company hasn't switched to O365 (yet).

  25. Teawain

    Low Cloud

    This sounds familiar, along with Composed sent emails remaining in Drafts for days, all sorts of nightmarish things of a 365 type. Made me smile that one time Protonmail was being DDOS hammered all day by the Russians and still it allowed logins, sent some stuff and didn't lose anything coming in. Maybe they should compare notes?

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