NinerNet Communications™
System Status

Server and System Status

NC036: Migration update 9

6 June 2018 01:22:20 +0000

We’ve finished planning this emergency migration of the new mail server (NC036), and will be shutting it down within the next five minutes.

NC036: Migration update 8 — Plan B

5 June 2018 23:32:15 +0000

Over the weekend we successfully migrated all of the email accounts on old server NC027 to new server NC036. Except that for a large swathe of our clients, this migration was NOT a success.

We can tell you unequivocally that the new server is running and running well. It’s doing a much better job than the old server, and we splurged on a high-performance server with additional software to process mail quicker and to do a better job of filtering out spam and viruses. That part is all going great, and I can tell you that I am delighted about that part.

The part that’s not going great is that the data centre in which we placed the new server appears to have some serious networking issues for a large number of clients in southern and central Africa. We could spend the next week troubleshooting this and perhaps find the cause (and then work on addressing the cause), but you and we don’t have the luxury of that much time. Within the next few hours we will send troubleshooting instructions to affected clients, just in case.

What we are going to do to resolve this issue is use the wonders of modern technology to shut down the new server, take an image of it to preserve the time, effort and expense that has gone into creating it, and transfer it to new hardware in a different data centre. Ideally I would like to take a day to set up a test server in that data centre but, again, you can’t afford to have no or limited access to your email for a day.

Fortunately the process of moving to another data centre is quite straightforward, and will not require as much downtime as the full migration did. Copying the image from one data centre to another will be much like physically carrying the server to the new data centre; it’s already set up and configured, it just needs to be plugged in at the other end. The only thing that will not be quicker is that we have to use more traditional methods to transfer your mail spools to the new server. This took 50 minutes on the weekend, but with two equally powerful servers on both ends of the transfer it should be a bit quicker this time.

We will shut down the server at 01:00 UTC on Wednesday 6 June. Including the data transfer and some minor reconfiguration, I sincerely hope to have it back online by 03:00 UTC.

Please keep an eye on this status blog, where we will post important updates during the process.

Thank-you for your extraordinary patience.

NC036: Migration update 7

4 June 2018 08:56:05 +0000

My apologies for not getting an update out sooner, but there have been some inevitable issues.

  • mail27.niner.net: First, if you have somehow been using the mail27.niner.net sub-domain in your email configuration, this was not a sub-domain intended to be used that way, and so was not pointed to the new server. However, we have reconsidered, and it is now pointing to the new server to assist those who apparently have it configured in their email.
  • Control panels: We are moving away from the unhelpful “cp” (control panel) sub-domains. The new mail control panel is located at mail.niner.net.
  • Webmail: This is now located at webmail.niner.net. We’ll be updating your domains with a “webmail” sub-domain to redirect to this in due course.
  • Control panel user names: If you used to log into the control panel with a user name that was your client code @mail27.niner.net, these no longer exist. We’ll be sending new log-in information within the next 24 hours. In the meantime, if you need to do anything in the control panel, please advise and we will assist.
  • Microsoft domains (Hotmail, Outlook, etc.): Despite the fact that we advised Microsoft through the proper channels that our new IP address is in their blacklist and their informing us that it would be removed, they are still blocking us. We are routing emails to their primary domains through our relay server to avoid emails being bounced, but it’s still possible that emails to these domains my end up in your correspondents’ spam folders.
  • Delays/losses: While the mail servers were down for approximately 7.5 hours — a lot longer than the four hours we optimistically forecast — incoming email to you sent while they were down will have been held on the sending server. Some of that backlog may take several hours to clear, depending on the policies of the senders’ mail servers, but the servers were down during an off-peak period anyway. Additionally, while we strive never to lose a single email during maintenance and migrations, we have seen several of our own emails to clients bounce. We will investigate and fix this issue.
  • Spam/viruses: On a more positive note, we’re already seeing this new server doing a much improved job of stopping spam and viruses.

Finally, one last apology for promising this migration three weeks ago and not actually delivering until now, and for not having all of the issues ironed out well in advance of Monday morning.

We’ll likely have additional information to post here later, but in the meantime you are welcome to contact us if you are having any issues not covered by the above.

NC027: Migration update 6

4 June 2018 04:25:43 +0000

Mail started flowing again at about 04:00 UTC. We will have some further details as time permits in the next couple of hours.

One apology: I’ve been using the wrong server number in the titles of the last few posts.

NC027: Migration update 5

4 June 2018 03:08:54 +0000

We are in the final stages of the migration to server NC036. We expect to have your email back online within the hour after finishing up testing.

NC027: Migration update 4 — we’re a go for launch!

3 June 2018 20:26:14 +0000

After numerous delays — not the least of which is that Microsoft never did actually remove our new mail server’s IP address from their blacklist despite their saying that they had — we are finally going to migrate all email from NC027 to NC036. This will start within the next few minutes.

During the migration you will not have access to either the new or old mail servers, and you will not be able to send email. Incoming email will be held on the sending servers until the new server is live and everything is pointing to it.

As our own email on our primacy domain (niner.net) will also be down during the migration, please email us at support.201806@ninernet.net if you have any urgent queries. Note the similar but different domain.

Thank-you.

NC031: Maintenance complete

3 June 2018 02:49:41 +0000

Scheduled maintenance on server NC031 is complete. The server was down between 01:54 and 02:36 UTC.

We anticipate that the intermittent back-up issue should be resolved, but we’ll be monitoring it more closely than usual for the next few days at least.

In addition to the database work, we have installed more memory and hard drive space on the server.

Thanks again for your patience.

NC031: Maintenance now

3 June 2018 01:53:28 +0000

Server NC031 is going down for scheduled maintenance shortly. This will mean that nearly all websites (including ours, excepting this status blog) will be unavailable for up to approximately one hour. (That’s a revision of our previous estimate, as we’re taking the opportunity to do some other pending maintenance at the same time.)

Thank-you for your patience.

NC031: Scheduled maintenance

2 June 2018 07:09:55 +0000

During this weekend’s maintenance window we will be taking server NC031 (the primary web server) offline for a few minutes to do some database maintenance to address the intermittent back-up issues. The server will be down for, at most, 30 minutes, between 01:00 and 02:00 UTC on Sunday 3 June 2018.

NC020: Reboot

2 June 2018 07:02:10 +0000

Server NC020 was rebooted at 06:19 UTC, and was back online again at 06:22.

NinerNet home page

Systems at a Glance:


Loc.SystemStatusPing
Server NC020, Chicago, United States of America, OPERATIONAL.NC020OperationalUp?
Server NC023, London, United Kingdom, OPERATIONAL.NC023OperationalUp?
Server NC028, Vancouver, Canada, INTERNAL.NC028InternalUp?
Server NC031, New York, United States of America, OPERATIONAL.NC031OperationalUp?
Server NC033, Toronto, Canada, OPERATIONAL.NC033OperationalUp?
Server NC034, Lusaka, Zambia, INTERNAL.NC034InternalUp?
Server NC035, Sydney, Australia, PROVISIONING.NC035ProvisioningUp?
Server NC036, Amsterdam, Netherlands, OPERATIONAL.NC036OperationalUp?
Server NC037, Seattle, United States of America, INTERNAL.NC037InternalUp?

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General Information:

This blog provides information about the status of NinerNet Communications systems. Dates and times of posts to this blog are in the UTC time zone, and dates and times given for events are also in the UTC time zone, although conversions may be offered for some time zones common to our clients. Please use the World Time Server to ensure accurate conversion of dates and times to your own time zone.

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