Thursday 11 August 2011

ExchangeDefender E-Mail Outage – Our Client E-mail and Some Thoughts

The following is a copy of an e-mail we sent out to all of our clients that are protected by ExchangeDefender and/or using OWN’s hosted Exchange and SharePoint:

Hello and good morning,

First, we do apologize for the mail flow interruption yesterday. Up until now we have had very reliable services with ExchangeDefender. Since our first signing up with OWN about two to three years ago we have experienced a few hiccups along the way with one serious outage for hosted Exchange happening in the last 12 months.

Yesterday, our e-mail sanitation and continuity provider ExchangeDefender experienced a catastrophic power outage in their Dallas data centre (DC). It just so happened that the component that failed was an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) about the size of a van that is supposed to keep power flowing into the facility by switching between the power grid or a backup generator.

Because that switch failed both power sources were cut off into the facility which eventually caused a system wide shut down. Statistically, the ATS failing is the equivalent to buying a 6/49 and winning the pot. A spare ATS was on-site, but we are talking about Kilo-Volts and Kilo-Amps of current so it is no easy task to switch them out and actually quite deadly.

The long and short of it is that Own Web Now, the owners of the ExchangeDefender services, have learned some lessons on where the system needs improvement. One place improvement will be made will be to set up additional data centres (DCs) to allow mail to continue flowing if Dallas has another outage.

We will also have LiveArchive access, which is your Web based access if our in-house servers go down, at additional DCs so that we can have access to our e-mail again if Dallas has a problem.

And finally, hosted Exchange 2010 will be set up for access across multiple DCs to eliminate the single point of failure in Dallas.

These changes are now in process. It will take about 3-5 months for the changes to be made.

Again, our apologies for the e-mail flow interruption.

While there are certainly other providers of these types of services out there, we prefer to continue our business relationship with OWN and ExchangeDefender. Why? Because we believe that OWN shares our vision, passion, and attitude about providing the best possible products and services for your hard earned money.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Thank you for doing business with us and have a wonderful day! :)

Along the way to where we are today as far as the products and services we at MPECS provide to our clients there have been hiccups, burps and outright failures.

We have come to standardize our server and desktop hardware configurations on certain vendor's products. Those configurations have come as a result of wasting both our client’s time and our time with the cheap stuff. BTDT and no thank you.

We have also come to realize the weaknesses in any given setup that we deploy as a result of unforeseen failures.

The good and bad experiences in our industry are a fact of life. And, as a result of those experiences we have come where we are today providing products and services that our clients can count on to run without virtually any interruption.

We will continue to stand by OWN and ExchangeDefender because they do share the same attitude as us. They, and thus we, will grow as a result of this experience.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Seanpt said...

I'll file this under "fool me once" ...

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


I am more along the lines of knowing what I know.

How many times do we hear about outages with Microsoft or Amazon or Intuit online services? Quite often.

So, if folks that do this for a living can't get it 100%, then we need to find the best of all options.

OWN has had their hiccups and burps for sure. But, what they have over the others in our experience is a lot closer to what we have in the way we treat our clients.

There are faces and voices to the names. They are very responsive to any issues that we may have even when they are ID10T type problems (we goofed on our end in some way).

We will take what we have seen with OWN over the others any day.