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April 2, 2020updated 06 Apr 2020 8:41am

Microsoft Azure Throttles Cloud Access, Blames Capacity Crunch

Company blocks access to compute for students, free trials, monthly credits users. Says "unable to leverage new compute resources in any region at this time"

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Azure users on free trials, student accounts, and offers based on monthly credits have been blocked from spinning up cloud services owing to a capacity crunch.

Azure’s official support channel admitted the decision in a reply to a user late Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how long this decision will be effective for. The decision followed earlier moves to throttle numerous services.

Computer Business Review will update this story when we hear more.

Read this: Microsoft Feels the Squeeze: Throttles 365 Services, Migration Bandwidth

Microsoft blamed the need to manage data centre capacity. The move applies to all global regions. Azure has 58 “regions” (sets of connected data centres) worldwide.

(As we reported on March 25, Microsoft has already acknowledged that it is reducing content migration, Data Loss Prevention, and backup solution bandwidth during weekday hours, shrinking download limits on OneNote and reducing video resolution on SharePoint, among other moves; as infrastructure pressure mounts.)

Read this: Supermicro on Its Outlook, Supply Chain Security, and THAT BLoomberg Story

Azure’s admission came after one frustrated user tweeted its support channel, saying: “I wanted to deploy a new virtual machine but it they are all grayed out and I cannot select anything (except for the super expensive ones). I have tried different regions an the same thing comes up. I am currently on the free trial.”

Azure’s official support channel said: “Due to the unprecedented circumstances around COVID-19 and the need to manage datacenter capacity around the world, non-paid account users (including free trials, student accounts, and offers that provide monthly credits) are unable to leverage new compute resources in any region at this time.

“Thank you for your understanding as we implement necessary and prudent measures to maintain service availability and prioritize first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure, and existing customers.”

The move comes after Microsoft said its cloud use had surged 775 percent in regions that have “enforced social distancing”. It later corrected this to say it was only referring to Teams calling and meeting monthly users, over a one month period, in Italy.

See also: When Things go Awry in the Cloud: A Closer Look at a Recent AWS Outage

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