Microsoft services such as Teams and Outlook are the backbone of day-to-day office work for many companies. Now they were suddenly gone for worldwide. An error in the network settings had serious consequences.

In the event of a global disruption, numerous Microsoft online services were down for several hours on Wednesday. The office communication platform Teams and the e-mail service were disrupted – but also the video game network around the Xbox console.

The trigger was an error when changing the network configuration in Microsoft systems, as the group announced. As a result, services could not communicate with the cloud infrastructure or with each other. After the faulty update was reversed, the affected services gradually came back online in the late morning (CET).

Failure to update network settings is a common cause of widespread disruption. This was the cause of the six-hour complete failure of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in October 2021. Since the group’s internal systems were also affected at the time, according to the “New York Times” technicians first had to drive to a Facebook data center in Santa Clara, California, to reset the servers.

The extent of disruption is often magnified by the fact that the infrastructure for operating cloud services is heavily concentrated with a few large providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Problems in Google’s cloud service in autumn 2021 also took the Spotify music service, the Snapchat photo platform and the Discord chat service offline.

Not only are the group’s own offerings based on Microsoft’s cloud offerings such as Azure, but many start-ups and large companies are also using them.

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