I have been using Microsoft Office365 to manage my e-mail since the beta program, and last month purchased the full program for SWMI Consulting Group. Office365 includes, among so much more, the mail service in a cloud (Exchange 2010). I have had few complaints – someone else manages it for me, and I can focus on my business.
This afternoon my e-mail went down for a couple of hours. It is easy to detect if you are looking – the indicator at the bottom of the Microsoft Outlook client changed from Connected to Microsoft Exchange to Disconnected. I tried to connect to the Outlook Web Access site, but got a 503 Error.
At the same time I noticed several of my friends and colleagues on Twitter complaining of the same sort of outage, and not sure what to do. Fortunately I have been down this road before, and knew just what to do.
I logged onto the Office365 Portal Page (https://portal.microsoftonline.com) and clicked on Admin along the top. Along the left there is a Support link for Service Health. The Service Health screen gives the current status of all of the services, and the one-week history. The screen had a lot of green checkmarks, but under E-Mail and calendar access under Today was a red flag (seen below).
The red flag was a hyperlink, so when I clicked on it there was a three minute old notice that there was an open incident, that the status was Investigating, and the details said: ‘We are investigating a service issue and will provide updated information when it becomes available.’
I kept my eyes on this screen, and watched the progress. Over the course of the next couple of hours or so I was able to get my e-mail and my calendar. It was fortunate, because people had told me to expect e-mails – and there were several outgoing e-mails waiting to be sent out. Because of these communications I knew what was going on, and that it was being dealt with. I continued along with my day.