Microsoft cloud services experience unprecedented traffic due to coronavirus outbreak

Increased traffic may effect Xbox Live and other Microsoft cloud services.

Image via Microsoft

In the wake of the ever-expanding COVID-19 crisis, Microsoft has reported a 775 percent increase in demand for their online cloud services. Included in those services is Xbox Live, a gaming service that provides connections between millions of players every day. 

With millions, or even possibly billions, of people locked down to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are turning to online services for work, social interaction, and entertainment. Additionally, online systems for healthcare and government organizations are being accessed in high volume during this health emergency.

“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,” Microsoft stated in an update yesterday. “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.”

In addition to the massive 775 percent increase in cloud service usage, Microsoft also reported  900 million meetings in a single week and a 300 percent increase in Windows Virtual Desktop Usage. 

On March 21, Microsoft established a set of criteria for how they will be prioritizing their online services as the strain on cloud computing continues to grow. If push comes to shove, Microsoft stated that, “Top priority will be going to first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure organizational use, and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams.”

Microsoft has promised to optimize their Xbox Live services. These optimizations include moving updates to “off-peak hours.” Due to the massive increased strain on their network, however, Microsoft is reporting some network allocation failures. So if your game is running slowly, or you are experiencing network issues with Xbox Live, be patient. 

If we have to choose, first responders and essential services are obviously more important than a perfect Xbox Live experience.