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Microsoft face claims of Azure capacity issues, regional limits

The leading cloud provider has not ruled out capacity restrictions in the future, led by macro trends

A very large version of the Microsoft logo is written on a wall, with conference chairs arranged in front of it. One of the chairs has a backpack sitting on it.

Microsoft Azure services might quietly be facing capacity issues, according to The Information. The technology reporting site made the claim that as many as two dozen Azure data centres worldwide are currently operating on limited capacity, citing two anonymous Microsoft managers and an engineer.

An article by The Telegraph purports that new customers are not currently allowed to register with the UK West and UK South server locations for Cosmos DB and virtual machines services.

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The publication went further in drawing a direct correlation between Microsoft’s commitments to support Ukraine as well as the ongoing worldwide semiconductor shortage to explain the capacity issues now allegedly faced by the tech giant. It also quoted a Microsoft message sent to managed IT service provider QuoStar as having read:

“Unfortunately, due to high demand in this region (UK South), we are not able to approve your request at this time.”

Microsoft pledged support to Ukraine early on in the conflict and has since moved many key Ukrainian networks including those of various government ministries onto the cloud, identified and neutralised numerous Russian cyber attacks, and donated tens of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid.

This year, Azure edged out AWS as the leading cloud provider, with a 77% adoption rate across all companies according to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report. The tech giant claims that 95% of Fortune 500 companies utilise Azure, and operates over 200 physical data centres around the world.

In the past few years, and at an increasing pace as industries moved even more services online during the pandemic, organisations have become increasingly dependent on cloud services. The 2022 State of the Cloud Report further reports that 48% of all organisations’ data is in a public cloud today.

“Across the globe, we have seen unprecedented growth in the Cloud,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to It Pro.

“With this surge, coupled with macro trends impacting the whole industry, we’ve taken steps to address customer increases in capacity while also expediting server deployment in our datacenters.

“Our priority remains ensuring business continuity for customers. In addition to managing and planning for growth, we actively load balance as needed. If it does become necessary to put capacity restrictions in place, we will first restrict trials and internal workloads to prioritize growth of existing customers.”

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