Microsoft Details Impact of Coronavirus on Cloud Services Usage (Upated)

Posted on March 29, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft with 11 Comments

Update: Microsoft has updated its communication about this issue because it feels it hasn’t been clear about a particularly important data point. And they have provided the following quote:

“We have seen a 775 percent increase in Teams’ calling and meeting monthly users in a one month period in Italy, where social distancing or shelter in place orders have been enforced.”

Microsoft reported this weekend that it has seen an incredible 775 percent increase in the use of its cloud services in places with social distancing and shelter-in-place orders.

“In response to health authorities emphasizing the importance of social distancing, we’ve seen usage increases in services that support these scenarios—including Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Power BI,” the Microsoft Azure team writes in its latest update.

In the past week alone, Microsoft has seen:

  • A 775 percent increase in overall cloud services usage in those regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders.
  • A “very significant spike” in Teams usage, which now has over 44 million daily users. “Those users generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes on Teams daily in a single week,” Microsoft says.
  • 3X usage growth in Windows Virtual Desktop.
  • A 42 percent surge in government use of public Power BI to share COVID-19 dashboards with citizens.

To cope with this massive new usage, Microsoft says it will continue to prioritize support for critical health and safety organizations to ensure that remote workers can stay up and running with core Teams functionality.

“Specifically, we are providing the highest level of monitoring during this time for first responders (fire, EMS, and police dispatch systems); emergency routing and reporting applications; medical supply management and delivery systems; applications to alert emergency response teams for accidents, fires, and other issues; healthbots, health screening applications, and websites; and health management applications and record systems,” the firm notes.

Referring to the impact this crisis has had on Azure customers, especially in Europe, Microsoft said that it is implementing temporary restrictions so that it can deliver the best possible experience.

“We have placed limits on free offers to prioritize capacity for existing customers,” Microsoft says. “We also have limits on certain resources for new subscriptions. These are ‘soft’ quota limits, and customers can raise support requests to increase these limits. If requests cannot be met immediately, we recommend customers use alternative regions (of our 54 live regions) that may have less demand surge. To manage surges in demand, we will expedite the creation of new capacity in the appropriate region.”

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