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Microsoft Discloses Outage For Some Azure, Office 365 Users

Organizations with policies requiring multifactor authentication are experiencing the outage, Microsoft reports.

Microsoft disclosed that certain users have been unable to access Azure and Office 365 services since late Sunday night, Eastern time.

The outage affects users who are required to sign in using multifactor authentication, according to Microsoft. Affected services include Azure Active Directory and Office 365, the company said.

[Related: The 10 Biggest Cloud Outages Of 2018 (So Far)]

The Azure outage includes the Europe, Asia-Pacific and Americas regions, Microsoft said. The impacts on both Azure and Office 365 services began Sunday at 11:39 p.m., Eastern time.

Microsoft disclosed the issues on its Azure status and Office 365 status pages.

As of this writing, Microsoft engineers are continuing to investigate and deploy fixes, according to the Azure status page.

A Microsoft spokesperson said that as of 4:42 p.m. ET "a number of affected customers are now authenticating successfully. We’re continuing to address the delay some are experiencing using multi-factor authentication.”

"I think this Azure outage shows why large and now midsize and smaller enterprises are all choosing a strategy of utilizing multiple cloud providers," said Robby Hill, CEO of HillSouth, a Microsoft partner based in Florence, S.C., in an email to CRN. "So the outage of a single provider, no matter how large or venerable the provider may seem, doesn't stop the business."

IT vendors "are delivering more and more solutions to help organizations manage their disparate cloud providers, and seeing large outages in the public cloud will drive more adoption of these emerging solutions," Hill said.

"Any time there is a major outage of a system as ubiquitous as Office 365 I am reminded of the often-overlooked need to make cloud-to-cloud backups of vital systems such as email and cloud storage," Hill said.

Recent public cloud incidents included outages in March and May at Amazon Web Services. In February 2017, AWS experienced a four-hour outage due to an incorrect command entered by an engineer.

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