Microsoft's Visual Studio Online outage hits users worldwide

Microsoft's Visual Studio Online outage hits users worldwide

Summary: Microsoft's Visual Studio Online service has been down for a number of hours for many, if not all, users.


Microsoft's Visual Studio Online service has been down since 6:30 a.m. PT/9:30 a.m. ET on August 14.


Visual Studio Online is a collection of developer services based on Team Foundation Server that are running on Azure. Microsoft launched Visual Studio Online in November 2013.

"We are currently investigating an issue that has caused a disruption with the Visual Studio Online service," a company spokesperson said via an e-mailed statement. "The service has been unavailable since 6:30 AM, PT this morning. Microsoft’s DevOps teams are engaged and actively investigating the issue and will provide further updates as soon as it is resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate our customers’ patience while working on resolving this issue."

I asked Microsoft officials whether some service degradations happening on Azure today in certain geographies are causing the Visual Studio Online problems. Officials said Azure has nothing to do with the outage; it's due to bugs in the Visual Studio Online code.

The Azure Status Web page shows Visual Studio Online experiencing a "Multi-Region, Full Service Interruption."

There's further explanation as to what's happening on the Visual Studio Online Service blog in the latest post (made at 12:56 p.m. ET):

"Our DevOPs teams are continuing investigating the issue. Customers would experience login and performance issues while accessing their accounts. The actual root cause is still under investigation, but initial investigation is indicating a contention in our core database seems to be causing blocking and performance issues in the services. Our DevOps teams have identified a couple of mitigation steps and are currently going thru validations. We will provide an update as soon as we have a mitigation in place."

An earlier post said the team was rolling back changes made in the last 24 hours to see if that would help.

Visual Studio Online was down on July 18 for 90 minutes as a result of Azure SQL database issues.

Update (4 p.m. ET): It sounds like Visual Studio Online is starting to come back. An update from the Visual Studio Online Service blog from 3:40 p.m. ET/12:40 p.m. PT:

"We have applied additional mitigation steps. Now the service performance has started to come back to normal. We'll continue to monitor the service and resolve the issue fully. Thanks for your patience."

Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, Software Development


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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  • I like Visual Studio

    But running it in the cloud is something I have no desire to do.
    • Visual Studio Online is misnamed

      It's not a cloud version of Visual Studio. It's a cloud version of TFS.
      Sir Name
      • I stand corrected

        I guess TFS online doesn't have the same ring to it.
        • I dunno ...

          ... I think Team System Online would have been
          a) Less confusing
          b) Accurate
          c) Descriptive
          • I hear they're going to add additional stuff though

            there may be extras over time beyond TFS. So the name plans for the future, I expect.
    • Don't knock it

      We run a build server, here. It allows strict control over compile options, and allows versioning to be controlled by the version control system. "Compile in cloud" is a more disciplined way to do your formal builds.
      • Not the same

        I've used build servers before, both TFS based and others and yes they are useful.

        I was under the mistaken impression it was the VS IDE running as a cloud app. That I would not like and it is nothing like a build server.
  • I thought it was called something like "Team Foundation Services"

    I'm enrolled in a grad level software engineering program. It's great for teams in an environment like that.
    • Renamed, upgraded

      Last April, Team Foundation Services was rolled into Visual Studio Online. VSO incorporates TFS, and also has Build Service and Load Testing Service.
  • Microsoft's Visual Studio Online outage hits users worldwide

    Outage must have been from those Cisco routers.
  • Didn't notice

    Oh yeah, our clients have all moved off Windows!
    • Dumb

      Seriously? You make everyone who has abandoned windows look like ignorent fools with comments like that, not to mention how you make yourself look.

      Read the article: If you don't know what "Visual Studio" is, then you have nothing to comment on. Hint: Visual Studio and Visual Studio Online are things only of use to sofware developers. And, no, they are not just for developing for Windows, but for a number of different platforms (including Android, etc).
  • PAAS for app testing would be nice

    It would be nice if MS provided a service to Visual Studio developers, which allowed them to test their apps on various Windows 8.x platforms in the cloud. In other words, Platform As A Service for app testing.
    P. Douglas
    • you sorta can

      There is an Azure benefit if you're on MSDN. You can spin up just about any VM you want, and they only count the hours you run it.
      • Thanks ...

        ... for the info.
        P. Douglas