Microsoft works to resolve Windows Azure compute issue affecting users worldwide

Microsoft has fixed an issue with its Azure cloud service that affected some users attempting to move a cloud service from staging to production. It's still repairing some related cloud services.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has fixed an issue with its Windows Azure Compute service that affected users worldwide, starting on Tuesday, and is working to completely resolve other affected cloud services.


At 2:35 a.m. UTC on October 30 (10:35 p.m. ET on October 29), the Azure status dashboard noted that customers worldwide were experiencing a "partial performance degradation." At 8 p.m. UTC (4 p.m. ET) on October 30, the Windows Azure dashboard noted a problem with Azure Comput that might affect service management operations across the world.

The dashboard explanation noted that "Manual actions to perform Swap Deployment operations on Cloud Services may error, which will then restrict Service Management functions. At this time we advise customers to delay any Swap Deployment operations." Users were still able to run applications and compute; it was the swap deployment function that was affected, officials said.

Via the dashboard, Microsoft provided updates every few hours, though 10:45 a.m. UTC (6:45 a.m. ET) on October 31. At that time this morning, Microsoft's dashboard noted that "compute service management functionality has been restored in all regions." Microsoft Support is working to repair any cloud services affected by the issue, the dashboard update added.

One of those services that seems to be affected by the Compute/Swap issue is Azure Web Sites. An update on the Microsoft Azure dashboard (6:46 a.m. UTC) noted that there's a partial FTP Service interruption that is affecting users of that service worldwide. From the dashboard:

"Web Site customers are advised to publish content using Web Deploy or Git which are fully functional. For details on using these methods, visit Azure.com and search for "Websites with Webmatrix" or "Publishing with Git". We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our customers and will provide an update at 2pm UTC.

The swap functionality on Azure is what customers use to move a cloud service from staging to production. "(W)hen you decide to deploy a new release of a cloud service, you can stage and test your new release in your cloud service staging environment while your customers are using the current release in production. When you're ready to promote the new release to production, you can use Swap to switch the URLs by which the two deployments are addressed," according to Microsoft's explanation of the functionality.

Normally when there are Azure problems, I hear almost immediately from users via Twitter and e-mail. I didn't hear from anyone this time. In fact, the only reason I learned of this latest compute problem was because the official Azure account tweeted about it.


That said, the Azure team will no doubt post a post-mortem about this one at some point in the coming weeks.

Update (November 1): The Windows Azure account tweeted that Microsoft finally resolved the Azure Websites FTP access problem around 2 a.m. ET.

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