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A Microsoft Azure data center in Texas went offline on Tuesday. Cause was extreme weather. There was a thunderstorm above the American state, which caused the centre’s cooling systems to fail. The company claims to have been forced to shut down many of its servers and systems in order to prevent further damage.

“Extreme weather, including lightning strikes, hung above one of the data centers in the south of the center of the United States,” according to the company, reports Silicon Angle. “This resulted in an increase in the voltage, which had an impact on the cooling systems. As a result, automated procedures to ensure the integrity of data and hardware were implemented. Important hardware got into a process to turn off the power.”

The cooling system is an important part of modern data centres. The thousands of servers in such centres are close to each other and are getting hot. Cooling them down won’t overheat them. But if the cooling stops, everything could break down.

That’s why companies like Microsoft have procedures to automatically turn off all hardware when the temperature rises above a safe level. This is important for the data centres, but it is annoying for cloud users.

Affected services

According to him, the failure affected many of his cloud services, including the Visual Studio Teams service. Azure Active Directory identity management and Office 365 also went offline due to the failure. According to Visual Studio Teams, users with organizations outside the affected area can also suffer from the malfunction, namely in their CI/CD workflows.

Microsoft says it is working on putting all the affected services online again. “Engineers have successfully gotten the power back into the data center. In addition, they have restored the vast majority of the affected network devices.”


According to experts, the incident is a reminder to companies using cloud services that relying on a single provider when it comes to running critical workloads in the cloud is a bad idea.

“The Azure incident was a new clear reminder that organizations need to build in their own redundancy, rather than rely on a provider,” says Pete Banham, a security expert at Mimecast.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.