Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

Summary: Reports began surfacing about a new Microsoft cloud outage on June 22 -- less than a week before the company is slated to turn on its Office 365 hosted service platform.

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Reports began surfacing about a new Microsoft cloud outage on June 22 -- less than a week before the company is slated to turn on its Office 365 hosted service platform.

Users of Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) -- its Google Apps competitor that will be superseded by Office 365 -- are having e-mail issues. They're also reporting that they cannot tell what is going on, as the Health Dashboard they rely on for updates also is not working.

The problem seems to be affecting users all across North America, based on postings to the support forum.

I've asked Microsoft for an update on the situation and received this note back from a spokesperson at 12:20 PM ET:

“About an hour ago, some customers began experiencing intermittent issues connecting to services served from the North American data center, including access to the Service Health Dashboard. We are actively working to restore service and identify the issue. We will provide an update within 30 minutes. We sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause them.”

On the @MSOnline Twitter account, this update went live just after noon ET today:

User "Tom.Pro" noted in the TechNet Online Services support forum that "We('re) down to(o) in Calif. OWA (Outlook Web Access) is very very slow to respond. Sign On tool fails. I talked to BPOS support and he couldn't even generate a support ticket because that system was down also. THIS LOOKS VERY VERY SERIOUS."

Another BPOS customer who asked not to be identified told me that his organization is experiencing problems with Exchange Online, one of the main BPOS components.

"In order to use Outlook, we have to use a connector program called the Microsoft Online Services Single Sign In that links Outlook clients to the cloud," he explained. "Currently some users cannot sign in to it. If they signed in first thing this morning, they’re fine. I’ve warned them all not to reboot!"

Another user, identified as "mcitpadmin" said in the forum that "BPOS support confirmed they are seeing a connectivity issue with outlook and SSO (single sign-on)."

Microsoft BPOS users were hit by a multi-day e-mail outage in May.

Microsoft is planning to launch Office 365 on June 28. CEO Steve Ballmer will be in New York to do the honors. Microsoft is expected to make Office 365 generally available on that date, though migrations of current BPOS users to the new platform will likely take months.

Office 365 is a bundle of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync unified communications Online. Microsoft. Microsoft also is offering Office 365 customers the option to "rent" Office 2010 (the Professional Plus SKU) and pay for it on a subscription basis as part of the Office 365 package.

Update: At 12:30 p.m. ET, the @msonline Twitter account posted another update, saying the problem source had been discovered and was on the way to being fixed.

Another Update: At 1:30 p.m. ET, @msonline began advising users of a workaround for Outlook Web Access, noting Single Sign-on was still down:

(Hopefully) Last Update: At 2:25 p.m. ET, @msonline said all services were fully restored and repaired:

Topics: Software, CXO, Collaboration, Microsoft, Outage

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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27 comments
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  • Sounds like a way to 'encourage' users to move to 365

    ;)
    Will Pharaoh
    • re: Sounds like a way to 'encourage' users to move to 365

      @Will Pharaoh <br><br>And to expect a <i>different</i> result. <br><br>PS. Sounds like <a href="http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins133991.html" target="_blank">insanity</a> to me.

      <i>"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
      --Albert Einstein--</i>
      Return_of_the_jedi
      • Office 365 doesn't use the SSO program

        @Return_of_the_jedi

        So yes, Office 365 is definitely different.
        Joe_Raby
      • Please explain then....

        @Return_of_the_jedi

        ...was Schrodinger insane?
        Joe_Raby
    • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

      @Will Pharaoh
      According to the article it may have been a hardware malfunction. Cannot blame that on MS.

      Heck, I have seen new cars broken down on the side of the road.
      BubbaJones_
      • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

        @RicD_ the spin doctor:<br><i>"According to the article it may have been <strong>a hardware malfunction. Cannot blame that on MS</strong>"</i><br><br>Give us the list of names of hardware vendors MS uses and we will blame them for not having redundancy. Otay?<br><br><i>"Heck, I have seen new cars broken down on the side of the road."</i><br><br>Lets not blame the car maker. Just blame the part that malfunctioned.<br>They are called lemons. FYI, there is a lemon law.
        Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

        @RicD_
        If the setup isn't redundant then yes.
        Anthony E
      • &quot;may have been&quot;

        @RicD_
        First, how do you go from "may have been" to "you can't blame Microsoft"? "May have been" is semantically identical to "may not have been". Either way, one could still blame Microsoft for not having redundant systems in place to eliminate a single hardware failure from affecting numerous peoples ability to work. This type of failure is why the enterprise isn't sold on the cloud. When a single hardware failure brings down the cloud, why bother with it at all?
        jasonp9
      • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

        @RicD_

        All hardware fails. Good architects configure systems to be fault tolerant. Redundancy is normal practice. No single hardware failure will bring down a well-architected system.
        Plain Logic
      • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

        @RicD_ The artical said it WAS MULTIPAL FAILURES NOT JUST ONE DUMBASS.
        PrincessMilissa
  • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

    Yes! Isn't cloud computing awesome! Let's all switch to a cloud OS and upload all our HDD's content to the cloud and bask in all its greatness! ;)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

      @Cylon Centurion - great advice because at least a decent cloud service provider ensures that your data is replicated across multiple servers and sites and is backed up regularly. This is far more than most individuals and companies can afford to do on their own.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

    This cannot be a more fitting comic:

    http://tinypic.com/r/zy6lts/7
    ALISON SMOCK
  • Cloud is awesome.

    If I have to hear one more person talk about the greatness of the "Cloud" I am going to scream. It is usually people that don't have to first clue about IT in reality, they are too young to get it or they sell it. The cloud has its place but not for everything. It falls in the same category as virtualization and SAAS.
    gwoodson
  • Still having some issues at 12:40 pdt

    Not allowing user to change his password:
    "Your password could not be changed due since we couldn't connect to the service"
    Nice grammer too :-)
    dclements1
  • Daily problems with BPOS @ University of Arazona

    They have been trying to get it to work for six months. MS has sent people down. There are failures DAILY. Note that student use Google and do not have problems. So. . . Microsoft is NOT off the hook here. BPOS does have an alternate meaning (Big Piece Of Sxxxx). Remember that MS picked the name, no one had to make it up for them.
    BilboRT
    • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

      @BilboRT

      It seems to me you're exaggerating. BPOS is not down daily (I use it daily) and I know that Google has been down at times over the last 6 months (my son uses it daily). You must be an aspiring student, freshman, or Google partner. You should first work on spelling the University's name correctly.
      DeanMu
      • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

        @DeanMu No he has spelt it right. In his alternate universe thats the university which is in existence !!!
        1773
  • RE: Microsoft BPOS users complain of new e-mail and dashboard outage

    What a big piece of s...er...BPoS.
    Non-techie Talk
  • I'm not a fanboy by any means

    but my BPOS has been fully functional all day today for me with multiple reboots, so to say that it is all across north america is a little misleading. I also was unaffected in the May outage...but I have been hit in other outages before. If you do add them up I would have to say I am at 97-98% uptime.
    falconae