Microsoft apologizes for recent Office 365 outages

Microsoft's Office 365 online service has not had a good week. A number of customers could not access parts of the service for two extended periods in the past week. One outage occurred on November 8th and the other happened on Tuesday. Both incidents affected the Office 365 Exchange Online mail service.

In a new post on the Office 365 blog, Microsoft's Rajesh Jha, who leads the Office 365 engineering team, states:

I'd like to apologize to you, our customers and partners, for the obvious inconveniences these issues caused.  We know that email is a critical part of your business communication, and my team and I fully recognize our responsibility as your partner and service provider. We will provide a post mortem, and will also provide additional updates on how our service level agreement (SLA) was impacted.  We will be proactively issuing a service credit to our impacted customers.

The blog also offers up explanations for the two outages. The one that happened on November 8th was based on issues with the anti-virus solution in Office 365. The outage that occurred on Tuesday was due to a number of different factors, including " ... maintenance, network element failures, and increased load on the service." Jha added, "Across the organization, we are executing a full review of our processes to proactively identify further actions needed to avoid these situations."

Source: Office 365 blog
Workers inside computer image via Shutterstock

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9 Comments

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do not put your business in risk.
what happened if you are using Office 365 and then the service is Not available, when you really need it urgently ?

Think 1000 X

gullygod said,
What happened to 99.9999% uptime?

"We will be proactively issuing a service credit to our impacted customers"
Nothing has 99.9% uptime, but when something goes wrong, credits is all that can be offered, I believe they issues some last time they went down, I think it was a month or 2 worth of credits they issued for only a few hours of downtime I think.

brent3000 said,

"We will be proactively issuing a service credit to our impacted customers"
Nothing has 99.9% uptime, but when something goes wrong, credits is all that can be offered, I believe they issues some last time they went down, I think it was a month or 2 worth of credits they issued for only a few hours of downtime I think.

Depends on how many 9s you want to achieve. 99.9% is very achievable however, OPs post is 99.9999% which is near impossible to achieve.

brent3000 said,

"We will be proactively issuing a service credit to our impacted customers"
Nothing has 99.9% uptime, but when something goes wrong, credits is all that can be offered, I believe they issues some last time they went down, I think it was a month or 2 worth of credits they issued for only a few hours of downtime I think.

do you want to put your business in risk by only two month credit ?
if we need in urgently, full refund also not worth
example: you need to edit contract of say it $ 100.000 and then you can not complete it because of office 365 problems. and you lost that contract / lost $ 100.000
and your partner also will never trust you again, because they think you are not professional company.

xbbdc said,

Depends on how many 9s you want to achieve. 99.9% is very achievable however, OPs post is 99.9999% which is near impossible to achieve.


Its not near impossible, it is impossible (pretty much) as 99.9999 = 365.241834 days (Which a normal calendar year is only 365 days) so after taking in accounts for leap years, timezones changes etc... Its all just marketing spin.

Pretty much O365 says we will never go down (Essentially) when they do they offer a credit to offset the downtime. At least Microsoft put their money where their mouth is and offer a credit for a downtime... I know a number of places who don't offer any credit for a downtime and just brand it as 'maintenance'

utomo said,

do you want to put your business in risk by only two month credit ?
if we need in urgently, full refund also not worth
example: you need to edit contract of say it $ 100.000 and then you can not complete it because of office 365 problems. and you lost that contract / lost $ 100.000
and your partner also will never trust you again, because they think you are not professional company.


Hi Welcome to the real world...
I never said its "going to cover any damages' I said its good MS does something about it... Its no different from hosting it your self or any other option, Cloud is the 'safest' option when you want to doing a risk analysis for it... What if your area you were in lost power or something which effected the link between you and your mail server? be it self hosted or cloud hosted?

Nothing is perfect and things like this cant be avoided, your scenario is nice but proves nothing bad on Microsofts part...

Systems have downtime, problem of the provider or not...

This is how the world we live in works now, time to wake up and hit send & receive...