Mimecast, which touts webmail for businesses, has toppled over in Blighty, leaving its customers unable to send or receive emails. Our readers told us the service wasn't delivering mails, and the web portal was inaccessible for users. And peeps on Twitter reckoned the service went down sometime around 11am this morning. Looks …
This is going to cost them...
Down for several hours (and counting) for numerous customers (and that's just the ones who've managed to fight off the angry mobs of users long enough to tweet about it). That 100% SLA is looking a bit sick right now.
One of Mimecast's selling points was that they have a resilient infrastructure, so that the loss of a datacentre would just require a bit of re-routing to maintain service. Explanations and compensation will be expected by all.
(And yeah, we just renewed our contract after three trouble-free years)
Several email providers having issues today, could be linked.
Word is that they have been compromised and are trying to "disinfect" the systems of the perpetrators as we speak. No doubt Chinese hackers or Lulsec or some other usual suspect.
Hardware failure, apparently
They've posted an interim announcement.
CEO will be offering his head, errr, making a more detailed report later.
I'm posting this at 16:39. Outbound email queue still backed up, around six hours since this started.
Updates, or rather, lack of.
I suppose I could almost justify this outage to my management if I had some information to give but it has been totally unacceptable for Mimecast to say so little about what's going on. They did send a few tweets but the content was mostly useless fluff. I saw one numpty say on twitter that it wasn't reasonable to expect an update, afterall everyones email was down! I guess he hadn't thought that twitter and the Mimecast website could be given a meaningful update?
The irony is that they've been gloating about their 100% SLA after Google Apps had some issues. It'll be interesting to see how to handle things after this outage.
Over-confidence, or something
Most service providers have a publicly accessible status page carefully hosted well off their own network. The only way you'll see a service status from Mimecast is if you log into the admin portal, which was a wee bit tricky for most of today. When I did finally get logged in, the status messages suggested that all was well, there were no recent problems and world peace had been achieved. Well, I may have made up the last bit.
I suspect it's been so long since they had a significant issue that they assumed they couldn't....
 And last I looked, it was only working on even numbered services, which many people won't have been trying to connect to...
 Customers have two services to use, one even numbered, one odd numbered. In the event that one breaks, it's supposed to fail over to the other. In this instance, it didn't.
“Cloud Kettle calling the Pot Black”
The real issue here is that Mimecast positions themselves as a business continuity provider, a cloud system that protects customers from email outages. Whilst they filter email and provide archiving their key differentiator been delivering continuity to ensure always on email delivery to users no matter what and underpinned by a 100% SLA!
Mimecast has a strong record of service delivery over many years, but unfortunately their customers will quickly only remember the pain of today, emphasised further from being sold on using Mimecast to gain assured email continuity.
What may really hurt Mimecast is they proudly promote a great deal of large legal firms relying on their service, with users being lawyers who demand always on email that they rely on for critical matters. I wonder were any court proceedings effected today by lawyers not getting information they needed when it was required and what the knock on implications and discussions ensuing from this with the their IT departments will be over the next few days?
Unfortunately for Mimecast they have made a strong rod for their own back in very public touting of their 100% SLA http://www.mimecast.co.uk/About-us/Opinions-on-Email-Management/Dates/2011/1/Email-Continuity---Five-9s-/ which customers are touting thick and fast on Twitter.
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