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Outlook and Hotmail are back online

Microsoft says downtime was due to a temperature spike in its datacentre
Thu Mar 14 2013, 13:00
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EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER Microsoft has resolved problems with its Outlook and Hotmail email services, meaning that users can finally access their spam-filled inboxes again.

Explaining the cause of the problem on its Outlook Blog on Wednesday, Microsoft said that the incident occurred in one of its datacentres while updating the firmware on a core part of the physical plant.

"This is an update that had been done successfully previously, but failed in this specific instance in an unexpected way," Microsoft VP Arthur de Haan said in the blog post.

"This failure resulted in a rapid and substantial temperature spike in the datacentre. This spike was significant enough before it was mitigated that it caused our safeguards to come in to place for a large number of servers in this part of the datacenter."

Haan explained that these safeguards prevented access to mailboxes housed on the servers and also prevented automatic failover to allow continued access.

"This area of the datacenter houses parts of the,, and Skydrive infrastructure, and so some people trying to access those services were impacted."

Microsoft acknowledged that its Outlook and Hotmail services were experiencing a system outage on Monday evening via its Outlook service status page.

"Fixing the problem is taking longer than we hoped," the company said. "We apologise for the lengthy interruption in service."

Though some users told us that the outage hadn't affected them, many said it did.

One INQUIRER reader complained, "I think they might want to rethink their statement, because I couldn't just see some of my messages, I couldn't see any. It wouldn't let me in my account at all." Then he said, "My account's back up, I will be forwarding my emails to G-Mail. This stuff never happened until Outlook came around."

We imagine that this view will be shared by many other Hotmail and Outlook users after this disruption. µ


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