Not just Facebook having trouble this week, Microsoft too

All the talk about the major outage at Facebook overwhelmed the news that Microsoft had connection troubles of their own.

The six hours offline at Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp rightly attracted all the attention.  It wasn’t just an inconvenience but crippling for many businesses that rely on Facebook to connect to customers. Sites that use Facebook’s login service were also in trouble.

Even some Facebook staff could not get to work because the digital access cards were linked to the same internal systems.

The problem was fixed by staff physically going to their Santa Clara, CA data center and doing a “manual reset”.  In other words, they turned the computers off then on again!  An oldie but a goodie.

There was a rumor about that the Facebook staff had to use an angle grinder to cut into the server cage to reach the computers (because the access cards weren’t working).  Sadly, that wasn’t true but, oh how we wish it was.

Microsoft 365 services offline

Microsoft’s own trouble also lasted about six hours.  While not as serious as Facebook’s woes they affected a lot of Microsoft 365 customers including (perhaps) Outlook.com .

Problems started on Monday, October 4, 2021, 10:42 PM UTC to 5:30 AM the following day.  Microsoft’s description of the ‘event’ is:

  • Users may have been unable to access Outlook on the web.
  • The search feature may have not worked in Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint Online.
  • eDiscovery data may have been inaccessible for Exchange Online or Microsoft Teams. -Uploaded files to Microsoft Teams may have been temporarily inaccessible.
  • Microsoft Security Center (MSC) and Security and Compliance Center (SCC) sign in may have been impacted and users may have run into “Resource not found” errors when loading policies. Additionally, other scenarios in those centers may have shown permissions/Role Based Access Control (RBAC) errors.
  • On-premises mailflow could’ve caused queuing although impact should’ve been minimally impacting.

The full details are in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center under the code MO289250.

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