Microsoft has restored customer service to the Office 365 cloud and Dynamics CRM Online. A networking issue affected some of Microsoft's cloud customers starting around 11:30 a.m. PDT today. A Microsoft spokeswoman at 5:01 p.m. PDT indicated that services have been restored.
Microsoft has been careful not to call the issue a cloud outage. Rather, the company initially said:
“At approximately 11:30am PDT, Microsoft became aware of a networking issue affecting customers of some Microsoft services hosted out of one of our North American data centers. We worked to isolate the issue and we are beginning to see service restoration. We continue to investigate the root cause of this issue.”
By 5:01 p.m. PDT, Talkin' Cloud received the "service restored" message from Microsoft.
Even if the disruption was a networking issue rather than a cloud issue, the hiccup could hurt Microsoft's efforts to position Office 365 as more reliable than its predecessor -- BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite).
When Office 365 officially debuted in June 2011, Microsoft described the design and redundancy steps it took to ensure system reliability, availability and scalability. More recently, Microsoft has announced plans to begin gradually migrating existing BPOS customers to Office 365, starting in September. But Microsoft has warned customers and partners not to pursue manual data migrations. Talkin' Cloud wonders if today's network disruption will cause some partners and customers to rethink immediate migrations.
Still, Talkin' Cloud doesn't want to predict doom and gloom for Office 365. We believe the suite will become extremely popular with small business customers. Even some of Microsoft's cloud-centric rivals -- such as hosted Exchange provider Intermedia -- are now embracing Office 365 syndication services.
But there's no denying that today's service disruption was a blemish for Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online.