Azure joins the “crash club”: down for 22 hours

Microsoft’s fledgling Azure Services platform, a beta offering that offers cloud computing services, suffered a 22 hour outage this weekend.  Azure joins Amazon and Flexiscale along with Hotmail and Gmail as web services that have suffered major outages recently.  According to forum posts on the Azure forum on MSDN, the outage began about 10:30pm pdt on Friday night, and lasted until 8:30pm pdt Saturday:

UPDATE [8:24PM PDT]: This issue is resolved.  Windows Azure is operating normally again.

UPDATE [3:36PM PDT]: We’ve identified and verified a recovery process that we’re just now applying throughout the cloud.  ETA is five hours to complete recovery.  I’ll post again when everything’s back to normal.

Windows Azure is currently experiencing an outage.  We are investigating but do not yet have an ETA for a resolution.  A large number of deployments are currently offline, and are slow to restart.
What is affected: Applications may be unreachable or in "stopped" or "initializing" states for long periods of time.
When the outage began: About 10:30pm PST last night.
Who is affected: Potentially anyone currently running an application in Windows Azure.
We will post updates to this thread throughout the day as we investigate and resolve the outage.  There is currently no ETA for a fix.

Forum poster Steve Marx promises a “root cause analysis” to find out what went wrong and how to prevent it, and plans to post a summary, but probably not until after Mix, as the Azure team will have a heavy presence there (not probably the best timing in the world to suffer an outage, if there is one).  We’ll have more on Mix as it unfolds later in the week, and will update here with any new information about the Azure outage.