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Office 365 Email Delays Due to Sandy Restoration


At 1:48 CDT on November 8, 2012, a subset of Office 365 customers from the North American region began experiencing delays in sending and receiving e-mail. A subsequent notice on the Exchange Online Service Health Dashboard reported Microsoft was investigating a potential issue, but there wasn’t enough information to determine if the there was a service incident. Four more alerts were posted in approximate 20 minute intervals stating: “A few users are experiencing delays in sending and receiving email. You may notice messages in your outbox that are waiting to be sent”.

By 4:15PM CDT, Microsoft reported that large message queues were beginning to drain which was slowly resolving the e-mail delays. While not confirmed at this time by the main stream press, various online services also experienced problems during this period. General consensus of various parties is that the issue was due to DNS problems from portions of the Internet backbone being restored in areas of Hurricane Sandy devastation.

Microsoft reported a closure summary at 10:08PM CDT. A complete post-incident report will be available on the Service Health Dashboard (Office 365 login required) within five business days.

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