Operator error was the root cause of the catastrophic failure of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform on 19 November 2014, which left many customers unable to access the service.
Azure Storage services were intermittently unavailable across regions, following a performance update that went drastically wrong.

On the Azure blog, Microsoft stated: “The configuration change for the Blob {Binary Large Object] front-ends exposed a bug in the Blob front-ends, which had been previously performing as expected.”
This bug resulted in the Blob front-ends going into an infinite loop, not allowing it to take traffic. The update had been deployed across most of the regions Azure runs in. 
“Unfortunately the issue was widespread since the update was made across most regions in a short period of time due to operational error, instead of following the standard protocol of applying production changes in incremental batches,” Microsoft corporate vice-president Jason Zander wrote on the Azure blog.

The update Microsoft released effectively created a denial of service, preventing users from accessing Azure Storage services – including those who use OneDrive and store Office365 documents on the Microsoft cloud.
Given that cloud and mobile are the two tenets of Microsoft’s strategy, the Azure downtime is clearly more than just a hitch. It is deeply embarrassing for CEO Satya Nadella and undermines the principles he has been pushing for the new Microsoft since he took over earlier in 2014.
The outage is another reason some CIOs and reluctant to use public clouds.
While public cloud operators will argue they experience far less downtime than in-house IT, given the scale of Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS), any hitch impacts millions of people.
The Azure service was not fully operational for more than 11 hours. Being without a basic utility like gas, electricity or water for 11 hours would be classed as a major incident – for an e-commerce website, the cost of downtime amounts to millions of pounds in lost revenue.

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