CPF, EZ-Link services, multiple websites down after power outage at Microsoft Azure
Multiple organisations including the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, EZ-Link, the Esplanade and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) saw disruptions to their web services on Wednesday as a result of the outage of the Microsoft Azure cloud service.
Microsoft Azure said on its website that a utility power surge in the South-east Asia region at 3.19am on Wednesday had tripped a subset of the cooling units in a data centre and brought them offline.
Azure said it “proactively powered down a small subset of selected compute and storage scale units” to minimise the damage to hardware, but was unable to say when services would be restored, as an extended period would be needed to restore cooling capacity.
It said: “Multiple downstream services have been identified as impacted.”
Nearly all of Azure’s services in the South-east Asia region were reporting issues, a check by The Straits Times found on Wednesday evening.
The websites belonging to the CPF Board, EZ-Link, the Esplanade and NTU all pointed to Azure’s outage as the reason for their service interruptions.
Visitors to the CPF Board’s website on Wednesday were met with the following message: “Microsoft is experiencing a regional outage that is affecting multiple websites. If you have difficulty accessing CPF digital services on our website, please use the CPF Mobile app instead.” It said it would provide updates “in due course”.
EZ-Link posted on Facebook at 2.30pm that its payment service was experiencing connectivity issues because of the disruption with Microsoft’s cloud service.
In addition, services related to the SimplyGo EZ-Link and concession cards as well as the EZ-Link wallet were affected, including the topping up of cards and checking of one’s transaction history.
SimplyGo is a service that allows bank credit and debit cards to make payments directly to transport providers for their bus or train fares.
The Esplanade said its website was “currently inaccessible” due to the outage on Azure and advised visitors to buy tickets on Sistic, while updates would be available on its Facebook page.
NTU’s website was also unavailable.
According to outage tracking website downdetector.com, problems with the Azure service were first detected at around 7am in Singapore, with 60 per cent of the reports citing issues with their server connection. Thirty per cent reported issues with hosting while the remaining 10 per cent said there were problems with logging in.
The outage of Microsoft’s Azure cloud service comes one day after its Outlook e-mail service experienced an outage.
The mail service was back up and running by 11pm on Tuesday as Microsoft said that service availability was now at 99.9 per cent, with the majority of the impact being “remediated”.
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