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Old 12 Nov 2005, 11:36 AM   #1
Prognathous
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The Fastmail outage - longest ever by a major mail service?

I don't recall Hotmail or Yahoo ever going down for that long. Is Fastmail's unplanned 2-day outage going to become the holder of this dubious record?

Prog.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 11:39 AM   #2
Shelded
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Maybe we should wait for it to end before we score it. Meanwhile, how will we measure the start time? I had mail all day yesterday, when others apparently didn't. Others today claim the wiki and blog are unavailable, thought they work and aren't part of the mail system.

Anyway, I think it's pointless because as far as I know Hotmail holds the record anyway, there have been people locked out for a week. Several times it's been days.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 11:41 AM   #3
Shelded
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BTW I'm leaving this in the misc forum because it seems to be trying to talk about other providers more than Fastmail. Am I right?
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 11:53 AM   #4
David
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Re: The Fastmail outage - longest ever by a major mail service?

Quote:
Originally posted by Prognathous
I don't recall Hotmail or Yahoo ever going down for that long. Is Fastmail's unplanned 2-day outage going to become the holder of this dubious record?

Prog.
Prog: Fastmail did not go down, consider that only 5 % of Fastmail's userbase was affected. How many times have a small percentage of Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail users been unable to connect? When that happens they don't post here.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 11:58 AM   #5
oysterquartz
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David,

When that 5 % constitutes the core of paying customers at the highest subscription level (from evidence in the threads) you have to start asking some serious questions.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 12:24 PM   #6
David
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Quote:
Originally posted by oysterquartz
David,

When that 5 % constitutes the core of paying customers at the highest subscription level (from evidence in the threads) you have to start asking some serious questions.
I agree, although it was a small % of the userbase, it was a major blow, that will likely have repercussions.

It was something that I thought about (but did not post about) when the discussion was ongoing, about the pros and cons of moving enhanced accounts to server 4.

I saw the possibility then (of a major failure) and thought about what would happen, if server 4 failed.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 01:16 PM   #7
Shelded
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Put all your (golden) eggs in one basket....

... and then watch it like a hawk.

I guess someone wasn't watching it well enough. Best way to put yourself out of business is to put all your best customers in one room and then gas them. But are we on topic out here with this talk of "server 4" and stuff? How about some energetic soul looking up some of the greatest email failures of all time?
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 01:56 PM   #8
Trip
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Post Getting back on topic....

Maybe not, prog. There must have been times in the mid to late 90s when the first major freemail players simply went offline for days at a time to fix glitches or upgrade servers. I think the majority of the net population back then was lesser-knowing than they are now, and also less dependent upon email, so maybe it was more acceptible, thus less noticable? I can certainly remember reports of several day-long downtimes with providers of various sizes, some who you may or may not consider as " major mail services." Runbox, for instance, was more than likely one of them. Back when they were first coming out of beta, they had months ongoing day-long outages and more (and still occassionally do, to my personal dismay! ), so those right there might be the some of longest....but then who's counting, really....

-----rant---------
...on a side note, I'm kind of ammused by all the clammering that arrises every time a paid provider goes haywire around here, not that I wish any harm or bad luck on anyone....it's just that a good deal of it comes from those who laud a service like Fastmail to the point of strangulation, yet are quick in persecution and loud in voice at the first signs of trouble. They're paying whatever it is per year, $10...$30...6 cups of coffee at Starbucks...a half a month's cellular bill, whatever it means to you.....and they're complaining as if they're anticipating a refund from a company who's just performed below their SLA.....well, at this point they're just [Mod: being futile], they haven't paid for anything of the sort....In light of the level of most budgets I see around here (including myself), who said you can't just make your own redudancy with a Yahoo or Gmail or whatever account, in combination with the one your pay for? I've seen a number of great, productive threads about those who have been able to avoid and/or mitigate the Fastmail outage entirely with the backups they put in place. They made their redundancies better, with minimal effort and minimal funds.
------end rant--------

Trip

[Mod: Trip, don't circumvent the filters, Pal!]

Last edited by Shelded : 14 Nov 2005 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 02:48 PM   #9
theog
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Re: The Fastmail outage - longest ever by a major mail service?

Quote:
Originally posted by Prognathous
I don't recall Hotmail or Yahoo ever going down for that long. Is Fastmail's unplanned 2-day outage going to become the holder of this dubious record?

Prog.
2 days is nothing... I was on a paid web hosting account, which included email hosting... they boasted about backups, fast email, reliable service, etc, etc... email went down one day and they said the backups were corrupt.... no emails. Period.

Back then, I had no imap and did not know about pop... I did not know what the heck was going on or how email really worked. Good came out of this though, since I started looking for paid accounts with "big players" of email and now keep backups of email and a way to transfer my mx records in case of disaster.

As Trip mentioned, you have to have multiple accounts and a way to switch in case your provider goes out of business. Email is important now days and you have to keep trust in yourself, not a company.

After reading 19 pages of Fastmail's saga, I have no specific comment on that situation.
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Old 12 Nov 2005, 09:58 PM   #10
Prognathous
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Re: Getting back on topic....

Quote:
Originally posted by Shelded
Maybe we should wait for it to end before we score it.
As it is, this is already the worst outage I've ever personally encountered.

Quote:
Meanwhile, how will we measure the start time?
I'll take Fastmail's own timing: November 10, 2005 at 6:09 PM New York time

Quote:
I had mail all day yesterday, when others apparently didn't.
Yes, apparently we didn't ...and still don't.

Quote:
Anyway, I think it's pointless because as far as I know Hotmail holds the record anyway, there have been people locked out for a week.
Linkage?

Quote:
BTW I'm leaving this in the misc forum because it seems to be trying to talk about other providers more than Fastmail. Am I right?
Yes, I think you are right. This isn't intended to be a Fastmail-centric discussion.

Quote:
Originally posted by David
Prog: Fastmail did not go down, consider that only 5 % of Fastmail's userbase was affected.
I'd be happy to see where you took this 5% figure from, but even if it *is* only that, we're still dealing with (at least) 15,000 paying users. If you wish, I can rephrase the question to "what was longest ever outage by a major mail service that affected at least 15,000 users?"

Quote:
How many times have a small percentage of Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail users been unable to connect? When that happens they don't post here.
Do you have *any* proof that these services were actually unavailable for that long for *any* user?

Quote:
Originally posted by Trip
Maybe not, prog. There must have been times in the mid to late 90s when the first major freemail players simply went offline for days at a time to fix glitches or upgrade servers.
So I take it that there wasn't anything like this outage in the last 5 or so years?

Quote:
....but then who's counting, really....
You are

Quote:
They're paying whatever it is per year, $10...$30...6 cups of coffee at Starbucks...a half a month's cellular bill, whatever it means to you.....and they're complaining as if they're anticipating a refund from a company who's just performed below their SLA.....well, at this point they're just p|ssing in the wind, they haven't paid for anything of the sort....
The thing is, free services have better availability. When people are paying for something that's normally available for free (such as email), they expect it to be at least as good in essentials such uptime. Any other features are of secondary importance when you can't even access your mail. For my $40 a year, I'm first and foremost expecting uptime, security and backup policy to be as good as major free services. Only then do additional features come into play.

Quote:
In light of the level of most budgets I see around here (including myself), who said you can't just make your own redudancy with a Yahoo or Gmail or whatever account, in combination with the one your pay for?
A free IMAP service with large quota and without any widespread privacy concerns? I don't think Yahoo or Gmail fit the bill. Any other recommendations?

Thanks,

Prog.
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Old 13 Nov 2005, 01:20 AM   #11
Trip
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Re: Re: Getting back on topic....

Quote:
Originally posted by Prognathous
You are
True! Haha! Accept, it doesn't really take much to just put in the link and let it run, then just copy/paste at the end of a month. I haven't really done much extra there....maybe I should? Then again, I don't suppose it would be worth the trouble, would it?

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Old 13 Nov 2005, 02:01 AM   #12
David
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Re: Re: Getting back on topic....

Quote:
Originally posted by Prognathous

I'd be happy to see where you took this 5% figure from, but even if it *is* only that, we're still dealing with (at least) 15,000 paying users. If you wish, I can rephrase the question to "what was longest ever outage by a major mail service that affected at least 15,000 users?"
Prog: I saw this in one of Jeremy's posts (yesterday) I can't find it easily - Try searching for 5%

I agree, that the fact that enhanced (and full) accounts were mostly affected, makes the 5% number mostly superfluous - it is the paying customers that carry the service.

Edit: Hey, I found it.

here


Last edited by David : 13 Nov 2005 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 13 Nov 2005, 02:30 AM   #13
Chipper
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Re: Getting back on topic....

Quote:
Originally posted by Trip
-----rant---------
...on a side note, I'm kind of ammused by all the clammering that arrises every time a paid provider goes haywire around here, not that I wish any harm or bad luck on anyone....it's just that a good deal of it comes from those who laud a service like Fastmail to the point of strangulation, yet are quick in persecution and loud in voice at the first signs of trouble. They're paying whatever it is per year, $10...$30...6 cups of coffee at Starbucks...a half a month's cellular bill, whatever it means to you.....and they're complaining as if they're anticipating a refund from a company who's just performed below their SLA.....well, at this point they're just ****, they haven't paid for anything of the sort....In light of the level of most budgets I see around here (including myself), who said you can't just make your own redudancy with a Yahoo or Gmail or whatever account, in combination with the one your pay for? I've seen a number of great, productive threads about those who have been able to avoid and/or mitigate the Fastmail outage entirely with the backups they put in place. They made their redundancies better, with minimal effort and minimal funds.
------end rant--------

Trip
----- rant -----
Actually, Trip you mention how there are a number of great, productive threads and how people have "made their redundancies better." From what I have observed in these forums, there are two types of redundancies:
1) Specific redundancy plans such as what is being discussed in this thread.
AND
2) Multiple redundant threads opened every time an issue comes up:
* 60,000 threads every time a provider goes down, even for a few minutes.
* 100,000 threads that all said to the effect "we need more storage space" when GMail came on the scene.

Personally, I like option #1. Option #2 just hijacks the forums to the point that they become useless.
----- end rant -----

Added note: I am not taking FM's side here, just a bit annoyed at all the responses that keep circling around the same point and are beating a dead horse.

Last edited by Shelded : 14 Nov 2005 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 13 Nov 2005, 10:13 AM   #14
Trip
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Absolutely agreed. It's almost comical to sit back and watch the masses get encircled in their own ignorance of the bigger picture at work. Oh well, it's bound to happen, I guess.

Trip
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Old 13 Nov 2005, 10:31 AM   #15
kchess79
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One time Yahoo mail was down for ten days. And it wasn't just me, because my college posted flyers saying that if you received class notifications at Yahoo mail, you should change over to the school's .edu accounts until Yahoo was up and running again. The computer labs were filled with people that kept asking if Yahoo was back and running. This had to be...four, five years ago?

Oh, and Hotmail's been known to go down for a few days at a time--one of the reasons I stopped using it.
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