Whenever a web service goes offline, the root cause is almost always DNS. Ok, that might be overselling it a bit but frequently DNS is part of the equation when a user cannot access a web service.
Microsoft is feeling that sting today as its website, remotewebaccess.com has been dealing with DNS related challenges for more than 12 hours. I got tipped on this last night and figured it would be quickly resolved but folks on Twitter are reporting they are still having issues accessing the service.
A little sleuthing reveals that the domain was renewed yesterday and that the nameservers were also updated. The site allows on-premises Server Essentials servers to quickly deploy remote access which is quite helpful in the middle of a pandemic.
I’ve heard from many SMBs and those that support these companies that they cannot access their servers which is taking down operations for these businesses. There are workarounds but this outage is hurting small businesses the most and in a time where every operation is feeling the squeeze from a weakened economy, this outage is particularly painful.
Microsoft has not yet publicly acknowledged the issue and we will report back if we hear any updates.
[Update 11:00AM ET] Microsoft is aware of the issue and is working to resolve the outage.
[Update 3:30PM ET] Microsoft says that the service is now back online.