Azure Updates: Data center loading; Sphere; Cryptocurrency attacks; Partner updates

April 11 2020

Around the world, lockdowns and closures continued for another week and even intensified in Japan, with a declaration of emergency by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As many parts of the world quickly approach one month of shelter-in-place or work-from-home orders, Microsoft continues to adapt to novel customer demands while rolling out fewer updates than in recent weeks.

Microsoft publicly shared additional details about the impact of Covid-19 on its services, in an SEC filing. In addition to Teams spiking to 44 million daily users, Windows Virtual Desktop usage increased by three-fold and government-created Covid-19 Power BI dashboards witnessed a 42 percent increase in usage. In a Microsoft statement the company wrote:

We’re implementing a few temporary restrictions designed to balance the best possible experience for all of our customers. We have placed limits on free offers to prioritize capacity for existing customers. We also have limits on certain resources for new subscriptions. These are ‘soft’ quota limits, and customers can raise support requests to increase these limits. If requests cannot be met immediately, we recommend customers use alternative regions (of our 54 live regions) that may have less demand surge. To manage surges in demand, we will expedite the creation of new capacity in the appropriate region…Despite the significant increase in demand, we have not had any significant service disruptions. As a result of the surge in use over the last week, we have experienced significant demand in some regions (Europe North, Europe West, UK South, France Central, Asia East, India South, Brazil South) and are observing deployments for some compute resource types in these regions drop below our typical 99.99 percent success rates.

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