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Visual Studio Online goes titsup as Microsoft wrestles with database

Cortana, what does 'multi-region full service interruption' mean?

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Updated Microsoft's Visual Studio Online services for software developers are in the midst of a total outage that has lasted for more than four hours. The Redmond giant has blamed a database snafu.

The services, which were launched in November 2013 to coincide with general availability of Visual Studio 2013, are hosted on Redmond's Azure cloud platform, are available at a number of monthly subscription levels and they also come bundled with several premium MSDN packages.

They offer a variety of cloud-based enhancements for the Visual Studio IDE, including source code version control, a hosted build service, load testing, a basic online code-editing environment, and telemetry data that can give insights into application performance and stability.

The stability of Visual Studio Online itself wasn't so hot on Thursday, however. Beginning at around 7:30am Pacific Time, users began reporting trouble accessing any of the services and performance issues when they were able to login.

Before long, the Azure service status page was reporting that Visual Studio Online was experiencing a "multi-region full service interruption."

After about an hour of investigating the issue, Microsoft reported that its DevOps engineers had decided to roll back some changes they had made to the infrastructure in the last 24 hours, in hopes that this would address the issue.

"The actual root cause is still under investigation, but initial investigation is indicating a contention in our core database seems to be causing blocking and performance issues in the services," the team wrote on the Visual Studio Online service blog. "Our DevOps teams have identified a couple of mitigation steps and currently going thru validations."

Even after reverting those changes, however, Microsoft reported that its database issues seemed to persist, and when last The Reg checked in, they were still down. We'll keep you updated on how the issue gets resolved. ®

Updated to add at 2117 GMT, August 14

Microsoft has said its Visual Studio Online services are now returning back to normal.

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