Many of Microsoft Azure's customers experienced unexpected downtime yesterday afternoon, but by later in the evening, the public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) was back to normal. However, the full service interruption took several hours to get under control.

Microsoft (MSFT) announced at 1:49 p.m. EDT yesterday that Azure was experiencing a full service interruption—specifically, automation, backup and site recovery, as well as a virtual machines, cloud services, websites, service bus, HDInsight, mobile services and StorSimple. It was a big hit to Azure customers, with an impact that was felt for the next few hours. But by 10 p.m. ET, it appeared as if Microsoft had managed to solve the downtime problems.

The downtime affected multiple regions, and it comes three days after a full service interruption in Azure's Japan East region, as well as a worldwide Visual Studio Online outage a few days ago.

Its first update regarding the outage stated: "Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC we are experiencing an interruption to Azure Services, may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile Services and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. Customers began to experience service restoration as updates were deployed across the affected environment. Automation, Site Recovery and Backup are mitigated. Next update will be provided in 30 minuites."

According to a report on ZDNet, Virtual Machines was most affected by the outage, with web sites down in several U.S. regions and cloud services down in other parts of the United States.

Microsoft didn't provide details on its Azure status site as to exactly how long the outage lasted. Bloomberg, however, reported the outage lasted about five hours.

The public cloud infrastructure service has been having a rough week. First the Japanese downtime, and now this outage affecting various regions around the world.