NinerNet Communications™
System Status

Server and System Status

NC036: Disk space increased

22 March 2024 23:58:26 +0000

We have increased the disk space available on server NC036 (our primary mail server) to accommodate more and the growing size of email accounts. Normally we would have done this during our weekend maintenance tomorrow, but earlier on Friday we had an unexpected spike in traffic that consumed the last of the disk space available on the server to store email messages. This was brought to our attention by a client who noticed anomalies in the webmail where messages were not being displayed.

Some incoming email may have bounced, but many incoming messages remained queued on a second hard drive on the server, and were delivered to email accounts once additional disk space was provided. The situation was resolved at 20:38 UTC on Friday, 22 March 2024.

We apologise for this miscalculation. If you have any questions please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

Issue with mail to domains with Mimecast filtering

19 March 2024 12:04:45 +0000

There is a significant number of messages on our mail server (NC036) queued up to be delivered to domains (mostly in South Africa) that use the Mimecast mail filtering service. These will be delivered when their service is back online again.

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 (since 2020), 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.

Update, 2024-03-01: A Xneelo client that was failing to correspond with one of our clients engaged Xneelo support on 28 February 2024, and we are in ongoing discussions with Xneelo for them to fix this problem. Xneelo have acknowledged that at least two of their outgoing mail servers ( and are in six blacklists between them, so the situation is actually far worse than the hypothetical example given above. When the issue is resolved we will post an update here.

Update, 2024-03-05: Almost a week later and Xneelo are still spouting excuses and fabrications, and assuming that the people they are addressing (including us!) are too stupid to understand how email works. This may or may not be resolved at some point, but at this point it seems it likely won’t be. Email service providers should cooperate with one another to reduce spam across the Internet, and they should communicate truthfully with one another, but that seems to be too much of a challenge for Xneelo. We’d love to run our mail servers without having to consult blacklists of spammers, but your email account would become instantly useless if we did. All we can suggest you do is to advise your correspondents to use email hosting providers that take care of the reputations of their IP addresses, as otherwise their email will be tainted with the same negative reputation. This is how the combined actions of hosting clients are supposed to drive the bad actors out of business.

Update, 2024-03-14: It has emerged that Xneelo doesn’t even handle greylisting properly! One of the parties involved in the ticket with Xneelo decided to communicate with us directly (to become a client, ironically), but because Xneelo’s mail servers don’t respond correctly to NinerNet’s use of the well-established anti-spam technique greylisting, their messages to us are now bouncing! Apparently this client of Xneelo has done the right thing and told Xneelo that they will be moving their hosting business away if they don’t fix the problem. It blows us away how badly Xneelo is running their mail servers!

Update 2, 2024-03-14: We have added various IP addresses, server names and domains to various whitelists on our mail servers. Adding the blacklisted IP address will not have any effect on messages from Xneelo’s blacklisted servers that are listed in the blacklists our anti-spam system consults, but these additions are, as far as we can tell so far, having a positive effect on Xneelo’s inability to handle greylisting. If you communicate with a South African correspondent who is hosted by Xneelo and their emails to you are bouncing or taking hours to come through, please log into the mail server control panel and add their domain at Domains and Accounts -> YOUR_DOMAIN -> Greylisting -> Do not apply greylisting on listed senders. If your correspondent is, you need to add “” (with the leading @ symbol) to that text box, and click the green “Save changes” button.

Update, 2024-03-25: We have not heard back from Xneelo in three weeks, and it seems clear that we won’t. So our advice remains the same: 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 (everything explained above) 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. But please do also contact NinerNet support and we will assist you to do all that can be done to help the Xneelo mail servers get their messages through to you. However, the situation described above — the two IP addresses above are still in multiple blacklist — is still just as true today as it was when we first posted this in January.

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 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.

NinerNet home page

Systems at a Glance:

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?


RSS icon. RSS

Twitter icon. Twitter



Recent Posts:




Tags: domains domains domains back-up bounce messages browser warnings connection issues control panel database dns dos attack dot-zm domains down time email email delivery error messages ftp hardware imap mail mailing lists mail relay mail server microsoft migration nameservers network networking performance php phplist pop reboot shaw shaw communications inc. smtp spam spamassassin ssl ssl certificate tls tls certificate viruses webmail web server


On NinerNet: