Coronavirus has led to a 775 percent increase in usage of Microsoft Azure cloud services

Microsoft Azure

This weekend, Microsoft has given an insight into the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on its services. The company says that there has been a huge increase in Teams usage, and there are not over 44 million daily users.

In regions where there are isolation and home sheltering orders in place, Microsoft says that there has been a colossal 775 percent increase in usage of its cloud services. Despite the surge in demand, there have not been any significant service disruptions.

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[UPDATE: Microsoft has now issued an update clarifying the statistic. Read more here.]

Microsoft says there has been a threefold increase in use of Windows Virtual Desktop, presumably as more people are now working from home. The company also points out that government use of public Power BI to share COVID-19 dashboards with citizens has surged by 42 percent in a week.

Writing on the Microsoft Azure blog, the company says:

Since last week's update, the global health pandemic continues to impact every organization -- large or small -- their employees, and the customers they serve. Everyone is working tirelessly to support all our customers, especially critical health and safety organizations across the globe, with the cloud services needed to sustain their operations during this unprecedented time. Equally, we are hard at work providing services to support hundreds of millions of people who rely on Microsoft to stay connected and to work and play remotely.

Microsoft has increased the monitoring of services for certain key users, saying "our top priority remains support for critical health and safety organizations and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams".

This prioritization means that a few temporary restrictions have had to be introduced to help balance the best possible experience. These restriction include limiting free offers, capping some resources for new subscribers, and pausing some features of Teams.

To help cope with the increased demand, there are plans to increase capacity:

We are expediting the addition of significant new capacity that will be available in the weeks ahead. Concurrently, we monitor support requests and, if needed, encourage customers to consider alternative regions or alternative resource types, depending on their timeline and requirements. If the implementation of these efforts to alleviate demand is not sufficient, customers may experience intermittent deployment related issues. When this does happen, impacted customers will be informed via Azure Service Health.

Microsoft says that it is monitoring the impact Xbox Live has on Azure capacity, having already asked developers to push out game updates at off-peak times. The company also points out that it has been working with ISPs, and steps have been taken to reduce bandwidth consumption by video services.

Image credit: DANIEL CONSTANTE / Shutterstock

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