Microsoft Azure AD Active Directory collage from official

Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory appears to be working once more after an issue with the authentication portal. The problem cut many users from services as they were unable to log into their accounts.

The issue appeared widespread, affecting users in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It was only avoided by users of Azure Government, who likely have mitigations for such failures.

After an hour or two, Microsoft’s engineers applied a mitigation for the incident. The service now appears to be up and running, though it’s not clear if a more permanent solution is needed.

So far, the company hasn’t provided an explanation for why its service failed, though it says it’s evaluating the issue.

“Engineers will carry out a full analysis of the incident and will contact affected customers. Please provide your Subscription ID and region so we can ensure you are contacted,” said the support team on Twitter.

A Rare Annoyance

Serious issues with Azure Active Directory are rare, but even a couple of hours of downtime can cause a large productivity loss. Some customers were unable to access any Office 365 services, including SharePoint.

Microsoft guarantees at least 99.9% availability for its basic and premium services, including the ability to log in and perform basic tasks. In this case, it’s failed its customers, who may be entitled to service credit.

If Azure AD has an uptime of less than 99.9% per month, users receive 25% service credit. If that number falls below 99%, they are entitled to 50%, and 100% if it’s below 95%. You can work out your downtime with the formula: “(User Minutes – Downtime)/User Minutes * 100)”.

If you were affected by the issues, you can find more information on the Azure site.