Microsoft Azure plagued by capacity issues – ICT news

Microsoft lacks capacity in its cloud infrastructure. Significant demand, coupled with outsourcing concerns jeopardize the development and flexibility of Azure.

Large cloud storage providers, known as “hyperscalers,” have been luring businesses into their data centers for years, promising them unlimited capacity. These companies can quickly get to work and request more storage capacity if needed. An offer that Microsoft, the main public cloud provider according to IDC, is now struggling to match.

In recent days, several blogs and technology sites have found that Azure is in turmoil… The Information has reported capacity problems in data centers in Washington, and in total in more than twenty Microsoft data centers across the world. The Telegraph says two data centers in the UK are currently not accepting new customers. Microsoft also told the Register that it is facing “unprecedented” demand and is putting capacity restrictions in place where necessary.

Microsoft does not yet have Azure data centers in Belgium (but will soon). The data of Belgian customers is stored in data centers located not far from our country (in Ireland, the Netherlands, Paris, Frankfurt, etc.). A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Data News that capacity issues are also emerging in Europe, but says expansion work is underway.

“The demand for cloud capacity is indeed huge globally. In light of this increase, coupled with the shortages facing the industry as a whole, we have taken action to increase capacity for our customers. We are also accelerating the process of expanding servers in our data centers. Our priority is to ensure the continuity of our customers’ business activities.”

Microsoft specifies that if it were to impose capacity restrictions, these would first concern internal workloads “to prioritize the growth of existing customers”.

Subcontracting and the war in Ukraine

The demand for cloud storage and cloud-based applications continues to grow, and Microsoft has been the go-to provider for such infrastructure for several years. The shortages come at a time when Microsoft wants to set up data centers in Belgium, but also in many other countries and cities in Europe (Greece, Milan, Madrid, Warsaw). It is not known precisely whether the construction of these data centers is compromised.

Disruption to the global supply chain for technology components is one factor in these capacity issues. This chain was turned upside down during the coronavirus crisis, and has yet to regain cruising speed due to recent lockdowns (and factory closures) in China. As a result, the world still faces a shortage of microchips, making it difficult to provide unlimited capacity in the cloud.

The Register points out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also plays an important role in this context. Microsoft is one of the companies actively protecting Ukraine from cyberattacks, but it has also offered the Ukrainian authorities more than one hundred million dollars in technological support, including the transfer of IT infrastructure to the cloud. The combination of all these factors means that Microsoft’s cloud is already well filled. An extension is also not obvious given the circumstances.

No quick fix

Azure users in Belgium can’t do much about it. According to tech blogger Aidan Finn, Microsoft advises choosing a data center with less demand if the home region is congested. He adds that many European customers, however, have to store their data within the EU for legal reasons, not to mention that storing data on another continent can also complicate certain things (it is more difficult for applications that work in real time, for example). He does give some tips though, like not going for older SKUs and reserving a virtual machine in advance.

Aidan Finn points out that this problem does not only affect Microsoft. There are only a handful of data center chipmakers, most of which are based in China. The outsourcing of this production is planned months in advance, even without taking into account the coronavirus. There seems to be no immediate solution to this capacity problem, which means that an extension or a move to the cloud will not be, in the coming months, as easy as before.

Large cloud storage providers, known as “hyperscalers,” have been luring businesses into their data centers for years, promising them unlimited capacity. These companies can quickly get to work and request more storage capacity if needed. An offer that Microsoft, the leading public cloud provider according to IDC, is now struggling to match. of capacity in data centers in Washington, and in total in more than twenty Microsoft data centers around the world. The Telegraph says two data centers in the UK are currently not accepting new customers. Microsoft also told the Register that it was faced with “unprecedented” demand and that it was putting capacity restrictions in place where necessary. Microsoft does not yet have Azure data centers in Belgium (but this will soon be the case). The data of Belgian customers is stored in data centers located not far from our country (in Ireland, the Netherlands, Paris, Frankfurt, etc.). A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Data News that capacity issues are also emerging in Europe, but says expansion work is underway. “Cloud capacity demand is indeed huge in global scale. In view of this increase, combined with the shortages facing the industry as a whole, we have taken steps to increase the capacity of our customers. We are also accelerating the process of expanding servers in our data centers. Our priority is to ensure the continuity of the professional activities of our customers.” Microsoft specifies that if it were to impose capacity restrictions, these would first concern internal workloads “to give priority to the growth of existing customers.” The demand for cloud storage and cloud-based applications continues to grow, and Microsoft has been serving as a provider of these for several years now. reference with regard to such infrastructures. The shortages come at a time when Microsoft wants to set up data centers in Belgium, but also in many other countries and cities in Europe (Greece, Milan, Madrid, Warsaw). It is not clear whether the construction of these data centers is compromised. The disruption of the global supply chain for technology components is a factor in these capacity problems. This chain was turned upside down during the coronavirus crisis, and has yet to regain cruising speed due to recent lockdowns (and factory closures) in China. As a result, the world still faces a shortage of microchips, making it difficult to provide unlimited cloud capacity. The Register points out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also plays a significant role in this context. Microsoft is one of the companies actively protecting Ukraine from cyberattacks, but it has also offered the Ukrainian authorities more than one hundred million dollars in technological support, including the transfer of IT infrastructure to the cloud. The combination of all these factors means that Microsoft’s cloud is already well filled. An extension is also not obvious given the circumstances. Azure users in Belgium cannot do much about it. According to tech blogger Aidan Finn, Microsoft advises choosing a data center with less demand if the home region is congested. He adds that many European customers, however, have to store their data within the EU for legal reasons, not to mention that storing data on another continent can also complicate certain things (it is more difficult for applications that work in real time, for example). He still gives some advice, such as not opting for older SKUs and reserving a virtual machine in advance. Aidan Finn points out that this problem does not only affect Microsoft. There are only a handful of data center chipmakers, most of which are based in China. The outsourcing of this production is planned months in advance, even without taking into account the coronavirus. There seems to be no immediate solution to this capacity problem, which means that an extension or a move to the cloud will not be, in the coming months, as easy as before.

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