Microsoft Lync Online users hit by outage

Microsoft Lync Online users hit by outage

Summary: North American users of Microsoft's Lync cloud-hosted unified-communications service have been experiencing connection issues for hours.


On June 23, users of Microsoft's Lync Online unified communications service were reporting connection problems as of at least 11 am ET.


A number of those affected took to Twitter to ask for a status update on the Microsoft cloud service, which is available both standalone and as part of Office 365. (There's also an on-premises version of Lync.)

Around 3:30 pm ET, the Microsoft Lync account on Twitter acknowledged that "some Lync users in North America are experiencing issues, we are working to resolve." (This was a retweet of an earlier @Office365 acknowledgement of the issue.)

Lync combines voice over IP (VOIP), corporate instant messaging, presence, meetings and video conferencing. Lync is the "inside the firewall" cloud communications service from Microsoft; Skype is the "outside the firewall" complement. Microsoft is working on federating Lync and Skype. Video integration between the two is slated to happen soon (mid-2014), if Microsoft sticks to its schedule.

@MMSInfoTech (Modular Mining Systems IT) claimed that Lync's outage was caused by "a migration of a datacenter by Microsoft" and had resulted in "intermittent connection errors."

"Preliminary Root Cause of Lync Issue: A portion of Microsoft network infrastructure which routes network traffic is in a degraded state," said @MMSInfoTech on Twitter.

I also see users outside of North America -- in Chile and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) on Twitter saying they cannot connect using Lync.  One user claimed he was unable to sign into Office 365 or repair the issues.

I asked Microsoft for an update on what is causing the Lync problems and when resolution is expected. No word back yet.

Update (4:50 pm ET): Here's Microsoft's statement about what's going on, from a company spokesperson:

"Some users in North America are experiencing issues with Lync Online due to network routing infrastructure issues. In response, engineers have routed a portion of network traffic to an alternate datacenter which has restored service for some of our customers. We are committed to fixing this issue as quickly as possible and expect the service to be restored for all customers soon. Customers can get the latest Lync Online status through the admin Service Health Dashboard."


Topics: Unified Comms, Cloud, Microsoft


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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  • Why even bother.. put yourself in this all this will end badly and with every piece of downtime will Microsoft recompense the money lost to businesses? Will they hell! Dont bother with the stuff so you dont get held up by pathetic outages
    • RE: Why even bother..

      Right... its a good thing that those on premise systems never have outages...
    • Point out a Cloud vendor who...

      Point out a Cloud vendor who hasn't had an outage? Outage happen doesn't matter if its your datacenter or MS Datacenter just a fact of life
  • Life in the Cloud

    We were one of the customers hit by the outage for 4 hrs. This is the result of moving your system to the cloud. At least with on premise, you are in control, will be installing lync on premise to avoid this situation going forward.
    • While that may be true...

      Some things to consider, #1, if you want to do the full features of Lync (internal/external IM, Video, Mobile, collaboration), you actually need two Lync servers FE&Edge. Lync server is on par with Exchange in terms of complexity.

      I would argue most customers should try to leverage any cloud services any critical systems. If you absolutely have to have 24x7x365 IM, building your own in house may make sense (assuming you have the staff and expertise to support it). However, it's still worth it to look to leveraging cloud services, such as Office 365, for non-critical systems if you are trying to reduce your in-house server footprint or you're trying to flatten your IT spending/costs.
  • Microsoft Lync Online users hit by outage

    “someone forgot”
    “to put quarters in the SDN controller, gotta keep the meter fed.”
    -Nate Amsden
  • Disrupted our day at work.

    Wasn't impressed.
  • Still glad we switched from on-premise to Office 365

    Even with the disruption yesterday, I'm still glad we switched to Office 365. Lync server is a pain to set up for no more than what it really does for your organization, so I was happy to kill off our Lync 2010 to move our organization over our Lync services to Office 365.

    In the grand scheme of things, most organizations can survive without instant messaging for a short period of time, like we did. I'm sure Microsoft takes this event as a black eye and will learn from it.
  • Exchange on-line outage today

    Went down 3 hours ago. NO updates in 90 minutes. EX7211
  • Exchange, too

    Not just Lync. Office 365 Exchange was down for some customers most of the business day, and the support phone still answers they're working hard on it but they don't know when it'll all be back up.