Infinite loop issue discovered in Microsoft's Azure cloud service
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November 20, 2014
An infinite loop bug in Microsoft's Azure cloud service has been discoverd thanks to a seemingly
fat-fingered system admin who accidently geo-blocked a whole region.
The TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Service) on the Azure cloud service, starting at about 11 am GMT
yesterday, may have sent some remote system admins scrambling for an answer longer than their British,
European and American counterparts.
Microsoft's statement was for some time inaccessible by users in Australia, New Zealand and many parts of
Asia and for several hours.
Azure's Jason Zander apologised to everyone for a necessary server restart in a blog post that
has been unlocked for all following a Vulture South inquiry.
"As part of a performance update to Azure Storage, an issue was discovered that resulted in
critically reduced capacity across services utilizing Azure Storage, including Virtual Machines,
Visual Studio Online, Websites, Search and other Microsoft services," Zander said.
"During the roll out, we discovered an issue that resulted in storage blob front ends
going into an infinite loop, which had gone undetected during testing," he added.
"The overall net result was a total inability for the front ends to take on further traffic,
which in turn caused other services built on top to experience critical issues," said Zander.
Microsoft's restart has scrubbed the issue out of existence and restored services for all but
an undefined small number, according to him.
"When we have an incident like this, our main focus is rapid time to recovery for our customers,
but we also work to closely examine what went wrong and ensure it doesn't happen again," Zander said.
Microsoft has not yet responded for a request for comment regarding the cause of the geo-blockage.
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