back to article Trying to log into Office 365 right now? It's a coin flip, says Microsoft: Service goes TITSUP as Azure portal wobbles

The day of week ends in "day" so, of course, Microsoft's Office 365 has fallen over, and Azure portal is having a wobble, too. Right now, if you're trying to login afresh into Microsoft 365, there is a 50-50 chance it will work. The outage appears to be worldwide, and Australia and New Zealand may as well give up, according to …

  1. robidy

    For those wanting to be paid for a UK snow day...this might just justify it..."no I'm not in the office, no I can't do any work...the Office is down."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's probably why it's out worldwide, the hamster wheels to run it are unoccupied because they're all snowed in.

  2. Coen Dijkgraaf

    It is the Azure Active Directory that went TITSUP, and everything that used it. Simple logins are now working again, but still problems with MFA, subscriptions and directories in Azure still.

  3. cosymart
    Meh

    Just switch it off and back on again...

    "while we perform targeted service restarts in parallel to provide more immediate relief."

    1. choleric

      Re: Just switch it off and back on again...

      Yep, that was my favourite line too. I shall be filing it away for deployment in the not too distant future.

  4. Somone Unimportant

    Yes, we had quite a few people affected by this ourselves.

    Took out One Drive, Azure portal (but not our Azure hosted services thank heavens!), Sharepoint online and Outlook, and got services back just over 2 hours into our working day.

    OWA appeared OK and thankfully our primary file storage is still on-prem so it wasn't affected.

    With 200+ staff, that's 400+ lost hours of productivity, so a conservative $20,000 loss to our business.

    So Microsoft - where's our refund cheque?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: So Microsoft - where's our refund cheque?

      Aren't you speaking to your lawyer and preparing a class action suit?

      After all, this is not all that rare event with Orifice 340 now is it?

      Ok, si I exagerate a bit with the '340' but to call something '365' does give people the idea that it is there 24/7/52 when clearly it is not always available.

      {proudly working in a Microsoft free zone for 21 months and counting}

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        24/7/52

        And therein lies the problem. 24/7/52=0.065934066

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must be in a time warp

    Today (29th) I had no problems at all with O365. Yesterday not so good. Outlook wouldn't connect to O365 Exchange all morning.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I must be in a time warp

      It was you that broke it!

      1. J. Cook Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I must be in a time warp

        He might have taken a jump to the left... then a step to the right.

  6. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    New Register category - "Microsoft Problems"

    Who else thinks that Microsoft blunders have gotten so common they deserve their own "The Register" category? It seems to me like there hasn't been a day without something breaking in the last months, be it their cloud or some "upgrade" killing MS Windows...

    1. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

      Re: New Register category - "Microsoft Problems"

      I much prefer the decrementing reference. Office362 it was for a while. Now we're at Office361....

      As for the rest of m$ "issues', that's just "how we got to be so rich". Questionable to call it "news", reallly, except for the fact that it so regularly ruins the day of so many people.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Office361 ? Already ?

        And we're not even in February yet. The count is not looking good for the this year's availability.

    2. Flywheel Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: New Register category - "Microsoft Problems"

      Great idea! It'll be a big category so you'll need to stick in the Cloud - how about O365? Oh, wait ....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Register category - "Microsoft Problems"

        New MS Product

        Out Of Office 365

  7. Mattknz1

    SSDD

    Fortunately xboxlive was unaffected, so we were about as productive today as any other.

  8. Scott 26
    Mushroom

    09:50am is a bit early for beer o'clock, even in MiddleEarth

    Couldn't even get through to premier support (via phone) to log a ticket....

    Updated our internal ticket with words to the effect of "world+dog ringing MS, I think they know they have a problem"

    1. Oengus Silver badge
      Pint

      10:40 am

      Finally I got a login screen. It has only been 2 1/2 hours waiting and while I may have a logon screen it was still taking ages to connect and of course once I get in no one else will be on-line...

      Beer because it is now after 10:00 so the pubs are open...

  9. jake Silver badge

    Remind me again why ...

    ,,, people not only still use the garbage from Redmond, they emphatically defend it!

    One wonders what flavo(u)r the Kool-Aid was.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Remind me again why ...

      Come on now! It's because PHBs understand it and if they can understand it, then it must be good. So they invite people in from MS who tell them how great the cloud products are and how much money they will save by sacking all their onprem staff, especially those know-it-all ones with 20+ years solid experience of IT. Then it'll be easy to sell it to the upper/board management of the company looking to squeeze every single penny they can from the company.

    2. luminous

      Re: Remind me again why ...

      Because it's cheaper for a small business of 30 people or less to pay Microsoft or Google a couple of hundred bucks a month to run all their email and shared calendars than it is to hire an IT admin full time and pay for dedicated servers and email software akin to the cloud offerings (standard IMAP just isn't the same).

      Maybe it goes down a few hours a month but it's not the end of the world for the majority of businesses. Inconvenient and frustrating but not fatal. And the cost difference is substantial.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Remind me again why ...

        It's also more reliable for a small company than having your own server. For on-prem, you can easily lose a whole day trying to fix something trivial.

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Remind me again why ...

          As opposed to losing a whole day because Microsoft screwed the pooch... again?

          Followed by the cost of getting a Microsoft 'expert' in to sort out the mess because nobody on-site has a clue.

      2. Tezfair

        Re: Remind me again why ...

        I've looked after on prem servers for donkeys years, and Exchange from 2000 and I don't recall once ever having any outage. Small business don't need a full time IT, I agree, however I look after many small businesses with various versions of Exchange and them paying me is far better than them paying a foreign company and the UK gov losing out on tax.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Remind me again why ...

        "cheaper for a small business of 30 people or less to pay Microsoft "

        Okay I'll bite; so why do big dumb companies of 1000 (10000?) people or more pay Microsoft?

        ... other than they're big dumb companies, I mean.

        At $WORK, the IT people have always wanted to be a microsoft monoculture, dating back to the 90's craziness, and did their best to ignore or even thwart mac and linux users where they could.

        With recent regime changes, someone with executive say-so likely bought-in to o365(-N) as a "solution", possibly so the company could "partner" with microsoft on the product and sales fronts as part of the "bargain".

        That conspiracy theory aside, the end result is anyone who isn't bought into microsoft on the desktop as the solution for everything suffers. The mac folks seem to feel the pain the worst, the linux engineers appear to have mostly shrugged and given up.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remind me again why ...

      t's easy to say it's garbage if you don't use it. However Office365 is pretty good and very useful for organisations.

      This is coming from someone who isn't into Cloud-hype, AI-hype and is no fan of Microsoft. However when a product is pretty good I'm prepared to say it. It has its frustrations for sure but what software doesn't?

      I'll admit that it certainly isn't cheap, the costs are ongoing and it's difficult to extract yourself from it if you get wrapped into it.

      If you know of an alternative that is as feature rich and has the same security and ease of use then let us know?

      1. Mike Pellatt

        Re: Remind me again why ...

        it's difficult to extract yourself from it if you get wrapped into it

        And therein lies the real issue.

        Remind me again whose data it is.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Remind me again why ...

        "However Office365 is pretty good and very useful for organisations."

        Having had to use it: no and no, in that order

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
          Meh

          Re: Remind me again why ...

          As good as Office 263* is, there are other alternatives. Such as open source. But management don't like them because you stand or fall by how well you manage things. If you buy Microsoft, you have someone to sue if things go wrong. It's management by passing the buck.

          * this was a typo but feels like it'll end up being a prescient prediction by the end of the year...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Remind me again why ...

            Really, tell me what the open source alternative is? Saying Open Source is an alternative is like saying 'Software' is an alternative or that the replacement to the Brexit Backstop is 'alternative solutions' or 'a technology solution'.

          2. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Remind me again why ...

            Such as open source.

            There is still no readily available open source alternative which gives you all the features of email, calendars, collaborative working, active directory and single sign-on that Office 365 does.

            Sure, you can, at great expense of time and effort, cobble together disparate bits of open source software to do a similar job.

            But the time and effort come at a cost to businesses, and require someone with decent IT skills to get working and keep working. Why would any business bother?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Remind me again why ...

          "Having had to use it: no and no, in that order"

          I suspect you haven't really used it then or it wan't properly rolled out. I have not met many people (mostly in a group of sceptics who are no fans of Microsoft) who say it isn't actually any good.

          Expensive, lot of individual frustrations, yes but the architecture and solution is fairly sound. It is probably the best product to come out of Microsoft since Windows XP.

  10. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Pint

    Microsoft really need to get their act together...

    We all know about Patch Tuesday.

    Surely they can nominate one day each week to have their outages, and stick to it? I nominate Friday, in the afternoon, preferably, then they could call it POTS Friday.

    Now to get into this regime they can either delay the next one until next week, but that's pushing it a bit. Neither we nor they could survive that long without it, so perhaps we can have another one at the end of this week.

    What do you reckon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft really need to get their act together...

      Maybe MFUAday (Microsoft Fucked Up Again day). Like Friday but different.

  11. Alfie Noakes
    WTF?

    Marketingspeak?

    Why do Microsoft pepper their status updates with the work "mitigated", which literally means "less shit"???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketingspeak?

      And "leverages" instead of "uses"

      Twats

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Marketingspeak?

        I reached out to them, but had to reach out so far that I fell over.

        1. Nunyabiznes

          Re: Marketingspeak?

          Well while you're down there have a look at Microsoft's service!

  12. BigSLitleP

    Office 363 and counting

    That is all.

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: Office 363 and counting

      Make that Office 361 and counting, unless I missed some, in which case it is Office 359 (or even 358).

  13. Dwarf Silver badge

    Marketing hits reality

    It’s reliable they said

    It’s quick and convenient they said

    It’s more reliable than running it yourself.

    Think we can now all see that it’s the usual marketing BS.

    Wonder how much it costs people vs the cost of buying it for local install like we used to ?

  14. Binraider666

    Office 363

    ...And Counting. It's only January. If you work in financial years it's obviously worse again.

    What does it take to persuade the global procurement brigade that there's something better and cheaper already out there? You could point a gun at the heads of those responsible and not get them to budge. No doubt there are back handers everywhere to persuade them to stay.

    On the subject of backhanders, why do so many big companies insist on you using their own, outsourced travel ticketing system, even though it is more expensive than booking yourself? Clearly there must also be backhanders and shenanigans going on there too. I can't come up with many other explanations, perhaps, it's some sort of job creation scheme?

    The corporate world has driven me quite mad and I think I shall be looking for a small business instead for my next move.

  15. imanidiot Silver badge

    And this is what you get

    For running stuff you depend on, on *someone else's computers*. If you can't afford for something to go down, host it yourself and have backups. Don't let someone else run it with the ("not a") backup on exactly the same service.

    1. DaLo

      Re: And this is what you get

      "If you can't afford for something to go down, host it yourself and have backups."

      Ahh, yes it will never go down if you have that 'solution'!

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: And this is what you get

        Atleast if it goes down you then have control over getting it back up, instead of having to sit on your hands and waiting for someone else to figure out where they fucked up.

        1. DaLo

          Re: And this is what you get

          Hmm, very different from "if you can't afford for it to go down".

          There's also still many ways that a system can go down, other than a single or even multiple server outages.

          Also a backup will only restore to the a certain recovery point in a certain recovery time. May be fine for your file server but if you are dealing with real-time high volume databases then restoring from backup might be pointless - if that is your 'solution' to a system you can't afford to go down.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: And this is what you get

            Backup, as in, another computer that can take over when the first one fails. Preferably on a different power supply, bonus for geographically separate too. Not just a copy of your data (though having that is ofcourse also a good idea).

            1. DaLo

              Re: And this is what you get

              And there in lies the problem. You get geographical separation, however you need to do synchronous replication to ensure consistence, which has issues if you have a distance with even moderate latency as you have to await the ack from the remote site before processing the next bit of data. So you then use a cached synchroniser which keeps the latency down but must be physically separated from the rest of the network, separate power etc. However you also need local redundancy so you don't have to rely on your separate geographical location. So you can end up with three to four parallel systems (possibly each running RAID 10 ) and you storage requirements get quite large.

              You also need a third location to ensure you don't get a split brain scenario. To use your second geo location you also need the infrastructure to be able to run from that location - extra internet connection, switch hardware etc. Then you might also need a physical location to use that connects to it. Don't get started about the live testing that you need to do to make sure it all works (and what if it doesn't during that test - all hell breaks loose)

              Or you could just host it in the cloud (which has some of its own risks, for sure) - you can see why it can be an attractive option. Don't need to worry about it and your head isn't on the chopping block if it your expensive "bullet-proof" system stops working.

  16. khjohansen
    Meh

    Outlook for today

    Outlook for today; Cloudy with DoS showers

  17. Craig 2

    Please, can't you just have a separate section for O365 / Azure / MS outage reports? They're just clogging up the front page every bloody day...

  18. caffeine addict Silver badge

    "and other services that leverage Azure Active Directory"

    Isn't there a point where you need to stop using "leverage" and start using "are hopelessly hindered by"?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Authentication? Me too!

    Umm - I broke something yesterday too. Had two domain controllers in one of our sites live-migrate between Hyper-V hosts simultaneously. A one-in-a-million shot. But since we know they come up 9 times out of 10, they both did their off-move-on flicker at exactly the same moment.

    Then Hyper-V got pissy because its DC/DNS had disappeared and wouldn't start the DCs in the new locations. And it took 15 minutes for it to finally just go "fuck it - restart them". They were simply missing from all the Hyper-V hosts. I should know - I checked them all, panicking.

    Measures have been taken to prevent this in future. Maybe Microsoft live-migrated their DCs at the same time and triggered all the phone calls too...

  20. STOP_FORTH
    WTF?

    Fragility of DNS

    I know there have been fairly recent attempts to bolster the DNS system against malicious attacks, but is the system still fit for use? I presume most of the recently reported problems are down to misconfiguration or other human error.

    Is this one reason why Google is trying to move Android users over to Chrome and their own DNS so that Android users can survive some imminent DNS apocalypse? (I'm sure there are other "good/do no evil" reasons to do this!)

    Do I have to start editing my Hosts files to include all of my frequently visited sites the way I used to when I was using a rubbish ISP with an unreliable DNS?

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Fragility of DNS

      ... why Google is trying to move Android users over to Chrome and their own DNS so that Android users can survive some imminent DNS apocalypse?

      Nah, if there is such an impending apocalypse (which I doubt) then it's only incidental if Google's DNSoverHTTPS avoids the issue. One real reason is to make sure that your DNS goes via Google.

      The claim is that it avoids people seeing your DNS queries - but of course we all trust Google with our information don't we ?

  21. gcla72
    Pint

    Hahahahahahaha

    Looks fine in China and Russia.

  22. Nematode

    At least when your own servers were down you could run down the corridor and suggest politely to the systems guys that they needed to look at it as the whoel company was sitting around doing nothing. No chance with Microsoft.

  23. TheDataRecoverer

    "Contacting the server for information".......& frozen. What a load of old rubbish this is!!

  24. Templogin
    Thumb Up

    while we perform targeted service restarts

    The old switch it off and switch it on again gambit

  25. Anonymal coward

    Complete BS as a reliable service...

    "We are unable to connect right now. Please check your network and try again later". Still NBG.

  26. johnnyblaze

    Straw poll, what do you think we'll be down to by the end of 2019? If we're still in the Office3xx range, would MS consider that a bonus? Seriously, it's great living in the cloud - you have so much spare time on your hands!

  27. SVV Silver badge

    Some amusement

    Spare a thought for those running Linux instances in Azure, who are learning to love the realities of a reliable operating system combined with the shoddy unreliabity of Microsoft, as one of the myriad single points of failure in their netwoking craps out every other day.

  28. Nunyabiznes

    Century Link

    It looks like it was a Century Link fat finger that caused the issue. It just so happens that we use CL for our backup fiber and noticed that those circuits were having intermittent issues late Monday and until lunchtime or so Tuesday (MST).

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Century Link

      "It looks like it was a Century Link fat finger that caused the issue"

      It guessing that Microsoft have a resilient setup across 2 providers. As one failed that's why 50% of requests did. I would have expected them to spot that immediately and also to automatically redirect to the working provider though.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Century Link

        That wouldn't be an excuse.

        One of the great claims for "cloud" is the ability to have stuff in different locations etc. MS have enough scale for the loss of "a link" to perhaps cause a slight blip while the system reconfigures - but having an outage like this because of "a link failure" would imply a complete noob approach to networking resilience.

  29. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Question

    Do Climate Scientists 'rely' on Microsoft. If so, that would explain a lot.

  30. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    The joys of "Computing as a service"

    There was a time when you could run programs on your PC without needing an Internet connection at all.

    You still can in fact if you are brave enough to use a non-Windows OS.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: The joys of "Computing as a service"

      Not for long, I'm sure.

      It won't be long before systemd will require network access before it condescends to boot the kernel...

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: The joys of "Computing as a service"

      "There was a time when you could run programs on your PC without needing an Internet connection at all."

      Office is still available as a non O365 (MSI) version.

  31. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Done it every which way in most combinations. You have an outage once every five years on your own gear. It's tough to point the finger at yourself when it costs lots of money. It's not life threatening, there's a seat limit and time-zone hassle for 365/24/7 and I've been know to implement off policies at certain hours for everyone's well-being. 0500AM to 0230AM is a long day. Also global DNS is as big a headache as you ever want. #rimmersthenamehologramsthegame

    1. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

      Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

      I wonder if you can run systems in future time to prevent this sort of thing btw, might have to try that again but with robots this time, when I get the opportunity... #iblameTV

  32. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Jesus Christ, Microsoft!!

    When I saw this article, I thought it must be the same one where I joked in the comments that for 2019 we were at "Office 364, and counting!"

    But no, this is ANOTHER story on ANOTHER Office 365 outage, which just happened to be a few days after the OTHER outage covered in the first story.

    I will be direct in my response. I hereby encourage MS to "get it's shit together" on it's cloud offering, or just give Office customers their nice on-prem CDs and Exchange Servers back.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this is why...

    ...I run a local copy of Office. Which I bought on my ex's student deal for a low price. Works flawlessly. I laugh in the general direction of all you O361 users.

    MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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