Microsoft Details Impact of Coronavirus on Cloud Services Usage

Ruben Fields
March 31, 2020

Teams users are generating 900 million minutes of usage a day.

Microsoft's new Windows Virtual Desktop has also seen a 3 times growth as organizations start utilizing the service to offer remote workers organization-managed Windows 10 virtual desktops.

Government use of public Power BI to share COVID-19 dashboards with citizens has surged by 42% in a week.

Xbox Live, the company's gaming service, is seeing record numbers "as people look to gaming for social connection".

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California has stocked up on ventilators and fixing outdated ones in anticipation of a shortage at hospitals in the coming days. Even the batteries didn't work, the governor said. "And Monday, they'll have those ventilators back into Los Angeles all fixed".

"Everyone is working tirelessly to support all our customers, especially critical health and safety organisations across the globe, with the cloud services needed to sustain their operations during this unprecedented time".

Meanwhile, Microsoft is adamant that despite the increase in demand, Azure services are not witnessing any "significant service disruptions" - though it is unclear what qualifies as a significant service disruption, and there are handfuls of complaints about Azure's reliability amidst the increase in demand.

"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", said the company. The company added that it is planning to add "significant new capacity" in the coming weeks to keep its cloud services up and running. Impacted customers and partners are notified through the Service Health experience in the Azure portal and/or in the Microsoft 365 admin center. "If requests can not be met immediately, we recommend customers use alternative regions (of our 54 live regions) that may have less demand surge". To avoid overloading, Microsoft will apply various temporary measures.

We've already heard how Xbox is "actively monitoring performance and usage trends" in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and apparently, this includes restrictions on upload content. Custom gamerpics have been disabled, and Microsoft is taking steps to deliver game updates in off-peak hours.As reported by The Verge, Microsoft saw a vast 775% increase in cloud demand over the weekend.

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