Microsoft Exchange Online goes down

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Microsoft Exchange Online goes down

A day after Microsoft’s Lync instant messaging service suffered a global outage, its Exchange Online customers are now having problems with the cloud email service.

Customers began experiencing problems with Exchange Online a little after 10pm Tuesday (Sydney time), according to posts on Microsoft's Office 365 community forum. Some customers reported being unable to send or receive emails from Exchange Online. Many customers reported experiencing long hold times when trying to contact Microsoft customer service representatives.

Microsoft's Office 365 Service Health Dashboard wasn't indicating any problems with the service, some customers noted.

It is not clear if Australian Office 365 users were also affected by the outage.

Microsoft's official Office 365 account confirmed the outage on Twitter, but did not provide an estimated time of recovery.

As of writing, Microsoft engineers had partly restored access to Exchange Online by rerouting traffic away from the degraded capacity, and the service is starting to recover.

Preliminary Root Cause: A limited portion of capacity within the Exchange Online service was impacting Exchange Online Protection traffic. The underlying root cause is under investigation.

Mail flow is now improving, and customers will begin to see service recovery as messages are being delivered and email queues drain.

Microsoft did not detail how many customers were affected, but said of those that did experience the issue, most of their end-users would have been hit.

Exchange Online Protection was formerly known as Forefront Online Protection for Exchange and is used to protect customers from email-borne viruses and malware.

Microsoft did not explain what was behind the EOP capacity issue. Some users are still experiencing problems connecting to Exchange Online and cannot send or receive emails.

On the Office 365 forum, many customers were venting frustrations over what they consider to be an unsatisfactory level of communication from Microsoft regarding the outage.

"Can you give us anything in terms of an ETA, promise we won't hold you to it. ...  But at least when we can give this to clients and upper levels breathing down our necks," one Microsoft customer pleaded on the forum.

“You can't cloak and dagger this type of an incident... You have IT people on this board and clogging your phone systems looking for some sort of information to feed their hundreds of thousands of cumulative users and thousands of bosses and clients," said another irate customer.

Some Exchange Online customers, fed up with the lack of information, took to Twitter to air their grievances.

Please! RT @EthanRasiel: @Microsoft how about an update on Exchange email outage? Businesses like mine are hurting due to this.

— Amy Morgan (@amytradelady) June 24, 2014

Dear @Office365, Yesterday's Lync outage and Yammer outage followed by today's Exchange outage has given me a sad. :(

— Jason Warren (@jaspnwarren) June 24, 2014

In a bulletin posted to the Office 365 forum, Microsoft said degraded network infrastructure is what's causing the issues with Exchange Online. The company offered the same explanation for yesterday's Lync outage.

"Engineers have identified an issue in which a portion of capacity that facilitates connectivity to Exchange Online services has entered into a degraded state," according to a Microsoft bulletin posted to the Office 365 customer forum.


If you are an Australian IT firm that was affected by the outage, please email Tony Yoo at tyoo@crn.com.au

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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