Microsoft's Azure cloud service went down for a while today in Western Europe, leaving those who use its virtual servers without access to them. ZDNet reports that the failure began around lunchtime UK time, and stayed down for a decent part of the early afternoon. Luckily, the outage didn't last too terribly long, as Microsoft now has the service back up and running after working to fix the issue for about two-and-a-half hours.
"Storage accounts and running applications were not impacted throughout the duration of the incident," Microsoft wrote on the Azure status page. "We apologise for any inconvenience this caused our customers." It's still unknown what caused the outage, and now that it's back up, it seem unlikely that we'll find out what the issue was. Still, at the time of this writing, Azure is operating normally in all sub-regions around the world, so all is well.
Also unknown is which data center was affected by the outage, seeing as how Microsoft likes to keep the location of its data centers a secret. It is widely assumed that Microsoft operates a major center in the Dublin area, however, so it seems pretty likely that the data center in Dublin was the one that failed. As stated above, Microsoft has the service up and running again, but with one outage already on the books for this Thursday, there's a chance that the company isn't out of the woods yet. Stay tuned - if Microsoft has any new problems with Azure, we'll be sure to update you.