Microsoft Teams|Office

Microsoft Teams Went Down, But it's Not Out

Earlier this week, Microsoft Teams took the US federal holiday off by not working on Monday. What actually happened is that the communication platform was inaccessible for a couple hours which always drums up the same comments: the cloud means you have lost control.

Specifically, with this outage, users were unable to access the platform for several hours Monday morning. Microsoft resolved the issue by saying that they “rerouted traffic to healthy infrastructure” and all is good again, for now.

Even though this creates a significant challenge for many organizations, the truth is that Office 365 will almost guarantee better availability when looked at across an entire year than what most small and midsize organizations are able to provide. Further, Teams largest competitor, Slack, has had more frequent issues than Teams has experienced since its inception more than two years ago.

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But any type of outage, especially with Microsoft’s flagship SaaS (software as a service) platform, is a serious concern for the company because the number one thing the company actually sells is trust. Trust that online services will meet their SLAs, trust that your company’s data is safe, and trust that when an outage occurs, that they will learn from it and reduce the probability of it happening again. And more importantly, the trust that if your business needs Microsoft’s cloud, it will be available.

With Microsoft expecting its cloud service and revenue to continue to grow, the company has a significant and vested interest in making sure that these outages are few and far between. The company can’t afford to be known as the ‘occasional cloud’ and while I don’t expect them to fall from their perch, with each outage, the scrutiny grows louder.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Microsoft Teams Went Down, But it’s Not Out”

  1. <p>The biggest thing when looking at availability and outages is that you have to compare this type of outage to unplanned outages for on premises. If you are patching a server on premises and you plan it, there is not much to disrupt productivity. So, in my mind cloud providers need to provide about as many unplanned outages as on premises unplanned outages.</p>

    • <blockquote><em><a href="#16115">In reply to RM:</a></em></blockquote><p>Given we've not had any unplanned outages in the last 2 years, and planned outages account for a few minutes a month, Office 359 isn't looking too hot.</p><p>Luckily, we don't use any of the cloudiness of our Microsoft 365 contract.</p>

      • <blockquote><em><a href="#16117">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>I agree with this. I hear better availability touted by cloud service providers all the time. This is the biggest farce cloud service providers sell. Not all downtime is created equal. The outage with Teams was the start of the day for most midwestern companies and continued for at least 3 hours. And we've seen other outages from Office 360ish (not a typo and meant to be a jab at O365) maybe it wasn't Teams, maybe it was Exchange, or Yammer, or SharePoint. All of which are middle of the day issues.</p><p><br></p><p>Just like above, we've not had an unplanned outage in more than 2 years.</p><p><br></p><p>Planned outages should never been factored into the downtime equation that cloud service providers provide. And ANY part of their service being down should be factored into their downtime.</p><p><br></p><p>I'm not anti-cloud, I totally believe that mail belongs there even thought here have been all sorts of tickets I've had to open with Exchange Online throughout my tenure as an O365 admin. I love OneDrive. But I won't be convinced Azure SQL, Azure compute, etc… will be much more than dev instances for the foreseeable future in our environment.</p>

  2. <p>I know that to me this outage combined with other 365 outages over the past year are concerning. I dont see this as a Teams outage but an outage to Office 365. Its not ok to have an email outage one month, a OneDrive 4Bus app problem for several months and now a Teams outage. </p><p><br></p><p>I know soon my management will be saying this was nice but plan for an on prem backup.</p><p>How do you do an on prem of Teams or Planner… </p>

  3. <p>We are in the middle of migration to Office365 with the majority of our mail users already migrated. Later this year we hope to transition from Skype for Business on-prem to Teams for voice. In the years that I have supported LCS, OCS, Lync, and SfB, we have never had a 4 hours outage during business hours. We've had issues, but never a full outage that lasted much longer than a reboot of a VM outside of a maintenance window. Even our SIP trunk provider has a much better track record than that, in fact in more than 5 years, I don't think they have ever been down. Definitely not during business hours.</p><p><br></p><p>The question isn't how many hours are you down a year, but how many hours are you down during business hours. Losing phone service for 4 hours would make for a very painful day in our organization. Ultimately, that is how MS is positioning Teams as a voice service, it has to be more reliable.</p><p><br></p><p>On-prem, I can build multiple servers and perform a failover if necessary. With Office365 we can't build in any redundancy, if it goes down for any reason, it is down and you have no option but to wait it out. At least on Azure and AWS, you can use multiple zones or providers, but phone numbers and mailboxes aren't easy to migrate on a moment's notice.</p>

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Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.