The office 365 team has emailed all of its Office 365 Hosted Exchange customers this evening with information relating to two separate outages that occurred within five days of each other.  I know here we certainly felt the outage on the 13th and was actually unaware of the earlier outage on 08 November.

The Office 365 team strives to provide exceptional service to all of our customers. On Thursday, November 8 and Tuesday, November 13 we experienced two separate service issues that impacted customers served from our data centers in the Americas. We apologize for the inconvenience these issues caused you and your employees.
We are committed to communicating with our customers in an open and honest manner about service issues and the steps we’re taking to prevent recurrences.
Here are more details about the recent issues:

  • The first service incident occurred on November 8 and resulted in prolonged mail flow delays for many of our customers in North and South America. Office 365 utilizes multiple anti-virus engines to identify and clean virus messages from our customers’ inboxes. Going forward, we have built and implemented better recovery tools that allow us to remediate these situations much faster, and we are also adding some additional architectural safeguards that automatically remediate issues of this general nature
  • On November 13, some customers in North and South America were unable to access email services. This service incident resulted from a combination of issues related to maintenance, network element failures, and increased load on the service. These three issues in combination caused customer access to email services to be degraded for an extended period of time. Significant capacity increases are already underway and we are also adding automated handling on these type of failures to speed recovery time.

The email went on to say that Office 365 would offer every customer a credit equal to 25% of their normal monthly invoice as a credit for these outages which is a very generous offer on their part.

We understand that any disruption in service may result in a disruption to your business. As a gesture of our commitment to ensuring the highest quality service experience Microsoft is changing the standard credit procedure for this incident and is proactively providing your organization a credit equal to 25 percent of your monthly invoice.

I know since we have been on Office 365 this is the first significant outage I have been aware of so the reliability has been terrific and although the outage was frustrating for us we survived. Then again for us it is home based email accounts and I imagine businesses may have experienced the outage very differently.

Were you impacted by this outage? If so, is the response at the right level in your opinion?