Issue with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service hits Covid-19 data

14 September 2020, 17:34

Microsoft offices in Dublin
Microsoft offices in Dublin. Picture: PA

A technical issue with the platform left Public Health England unable to update the dashboard which tracks coronavirus cases in the UK.

An issue with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform has sparked system problems for organisations in the UK, including Public Health England’s (PHE) coronavirus case dashboard.

The platform is used to track the number of new positive coronavirus cases and reported deaths linked to the virus in England and is normally updated daily.

However, PHE tweeted on Monday afternoon that they had been unable to update the platform because of the problem, which Microsoft has confirmed and said it is investigating.

“Due to an issue with Microsoft Azure we are unable to update the dashboard currently,” the PHE tweet said, before confirming the day’s coronavirus figures through Twitter instead.

Microsoft said the issue had been caused by a “cooling failure” within a section of its UK South data centre.

The tech giant confirmed that its “Storage, Networking and Virtual Compute resources have been shut down as part of our automated processes to preserve the equipment and prevent damage”.

The company has encouraged users to “activate their service continuity plans and/or migrate their services to other Availability Zones in the region”, and said it was actively working on restoring service to the affected area.

By Press Association