NinerNet Communications™
System Status

Server and System Status

Email messages from Xneelo (formerly Hetzner South Africa) senders blocked

19 January 2024 01:23:15 +0000

We’ve been meaning to post about this for several years, but we haven’t because there’s always something more important to do and it’s not our job to highlight how badly a competitor is running their mail servers. However, after the issue had gone away for a time we thought that perhaps Xneelo (formerly Hetzner South Africa) had resolved their problem. But now it’s back.

The problem is that one of the multiple mail servers they run is in multiple anti-spam blacklists/blocklists. We don’t know how many outbound mail servers they run, but let’s say (for the sake of example) it’s ten. If the IP address of one of those servers is in a blacklist, and all of their outbound mail is equally spread among those ten servers, then 10% of their outbound messages will not be delivered to anyone that is using the blacklists in which that server is listed.

The problem for us is that we end up devoting a significant percentage of our support resources to answering questions from clients who don’t understand what is going on, and who think that we are the problem. But we’re not!

Getting into an anti-spam blacklist is a significant event for any company, but the bigger you are and the more servers you run the less of an issue it is. NinerNet is not big, and so if one of our servers gets into a blacklist it’s a big deal, and we jump around to fix the problem and have our IP address removed from the blacklist. Considering how long one of Xneelo’s mail servers has been in a major blacklist, and how many of their clients we (or our clients) have told to take the problem to Xneelo, it’s shocking to us that they don’t seem to have done a thing about it. So we’re making this blog post to try and bring their attention to it publicly and to point our clients here whenever they have a question about the problem.

If one of your correspondents tells you that their email messages to you are not getting through to you, and they’re a Xneelo customer, this is almost certainly the reason. Your correspondent — the Xneelo client — needs to go to Xneelo to demand that Xneelo resolve their years-old problem in order to serve their own clientele properly.

NC036: Messages to Outlook-/Microsoft-/Hotmail-hosted domains delayed

6 July 2022 09:12:00 +0000

Please note that we are seeing messages from NC036 destined for private domains hosted by Microsoft delayed at this time. The cause is not clear, but it’s clearly on Microsoft’s end.

This is not in any way related to the internal server issue that happened yesterday.

NC036: Disk space issue resolved

8 May 2022 06:19:09 +0000

Briefly between Saturday and Sunday the disk storing emails on server NC036 became full. This was resolved immediately upon discovery, but some incoming emails were delayed. Some may also have bounced. However, this issue is now fully resolved.

If you have any questions, please contact NinerNet support.

NC036: Mail server disk space issue

15 October 2021 11:34:08 +0000

Server NC036 (the primary mail server) briefly ran out of disk space on Friday 15 October at 11:02 UTC. This was immediately rectified, and the server was running normally again at 11:10.

This is the reason for this weekend’s scheduled maintenance. This problem won’t happen again after the maintenance. We apologise for this temporary problem.

If you have any questions, please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

NC036: Maintenance this weekend

13 October 2021 11:30:19 +0000

Server NC036 (the primary mail server) will be down briefly this weekend during the weekly maintenance window while we again increase the disk space available on the server. The downtime should be less than an hour during the least busy part of the weekend on Saturday evening UTC.

During the downtime you will not be able to send or check email, and incoming email will be held on the sending servers until server NC036 is back online. Once the server is back online mail will be delivered in line with standard retry rates. This will mean that some incoming mail may be delayed briefly, but no mail will be lost.

We will post updates here shortly before the maintenance begins, and again once it has concluded.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

NC036: Possible resolution of issues with Cloudmark/Shaw

12 September 2021 16:13:55 +0000

At the end of August we heard from Cloudmark that, “Due to the IP [of server NC036] being located in the Netherlands, it was automatically put into a lower sending class. The sending class has been increased so deliverability will improve.” Since that time it appears that emails to shaw.ca and a few other domains using Cloudmark have been delivered without delay.

If this situation continues, it’s yet another example of what can be achieved if Internet companies work together, rather than ignoring each other.

NC036: Emergency maintenance explanation

2 September 2021 09:23:31 +0000

The emergency maintenance on server NC036 earlier today was to add additional disk space for email storage. Normally this maintenance is scheduled in advance, but today a number of factors combined to require us to take action immediately. We will work to avoid this situation in the future, but the cause of the situation was one of the aforementioned factors.

Thank-you for your patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

NC036: Server back online

2 September 2021 02:59:34 +0000

Server NC036 is back online. It was down for 6 minutes between 02:31 and 02:37 UTC. We’ll be posting additional information about this shortly.

NC036: Emergency maintenance

2 September 2021 02:33:05 +0000

Server NC036 (our primary mail server) will be undergoing emergency maintenance within the next few minutes. The server will be down for approximately half an hour.

We will post an update when we are done.

NC036: Problems with shaw.ca again

13 July 2021 19:21:41 +0000

Shaw Communications Inc. and their mail filtering sub-contractor (Cloudfilter/Cloudmark) are again delaying, and now even bouncing, email sent to shaw.ca addresses. However, we have no way of communicating with Shaw mail server admins, so we cannot talk to them about how their filtering practices are non-standard and unpredictable.

Our mail server is still/again not in any of the 250 major blacklists that we monitor, so it is unclear why Shaw/Cloudfilter are causing this problem. If you are a Shaw customer, we strongly recommend that you contact Shaw and complain. We also recommend that you do not forward your email to any addresses on their domain.


Update, 2021-07-13 15:45 (PDT): Bounce messages will contain this line, or something very similar to it:

host shw-central.mx.a.cloudfilter.net[3.96.81.40] refused to talk to me: 421 shw-ibgw-4001a.ext.cloudfilter.net cmsmtp too many sessions from 178.62.195.26 AUP#CNCT

Normally bounce messages can be easily deciphered, but even we don’t know what this means or how it makes any sense.

NinerNet home page

Systems at a Glance:


Loc.SystemStatusPing
Server NC023, London, United Kingdom (Relay server), INTERNAL.NC023InternalUp?
Server NC028, Vancouver, Canada (Monitoring server), INTERNAL.NC028InternalUp?
Server NC031, New York, United States of America (Web server), INTERNAL.NC031InternalUp?
Server NC033, Toronto, Canada (Primary nameserver), OPERATIONAL.NC033OperationalUp?
Server NC034, Lusaka, Zambia (Phone server), INTERNAL.NC034InternalUp?
Server NC035, Sydney, Australia (Secondary nameserver), OPERATIONAL.NC035OperationalUp?
Server NC036, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Mail server), OPERATIONAL.NC036OperationalUp?
Server NC040, Toronto, Canada (Web server), INTERNAL.NC040InternalUp?
Server NC041, New York, United States of America (Web server), OPERATIONAL.NC041OperationalUp?
Server NC042, Seattle, United States of America (Status website), OPERATIONAL.NC042OperationalUp?

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