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October 28, 2019

Mimecast CEO “Very Sorry” for Persistent Outages – Blames Network/Firewall Issues

Issue trigged by how "certain network traffic conditions interact with our firewalls"

By CBR Staff Writer

Mimecast has blamed a series of intermittent service disruptions over recent weeks on network/firewall issues and says it is urgently working on a permanent fix, with the email resilience provider’s CEO Peter Bauer taking to the company’s website with a recorded video apology in an attempt to placate irate customers.

The $340 by revenue company (fiscal year ended March 2019) processes approximately 1.2 billion emails per day for 34,400 customers globally. It integrates with Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and Google Apps to provide email security, archiving and continuity services in the event of primary email service outages.

In recent weeks US-based users in particular have faced email delivery issues, and also been unable to access Mimecast’s administration center. The issue became particularly pronounced on October 23-24, with mail flow drying up for hours.

Mimecast Outage: CEO Says “Mitigations in Place”

CEO Peter Bauer, in a recorded apology, said: “I am very sorry about the impact that this has had on you. Over the past 16 years we’ve worked very hard to build our track record of reliability; we’ve earned many of our longstanding customers’ trust. Unfortunately, we’ve not met that reliability standard recently

Mimecast outage

CEO Peter Bauer apologises to customers, in a still from a recent video apology.

“Over the past few days in particular we’ve had increased service reliability challenges – and the cause of this recent issue is new and unique – and we’re currently diagnosing and trouble-shooting it. So far, what we’re seeing is that it’s prompted by the way certain network traffic conditions interact with our firewalls.

He added: “We’ve put mitigations in place to contain the impact and reduce the impact time to just a few minutes if the issue reoccurs. But resolving the issue is our number one priority and we’re working to implement a permanent solution.”

Mimecast runs its services via networks in twelve of its own/co-located data centers in six locations around the world (although it uses AWS to underpin its “Mimecast Awareness Training” offering). It runs on a proprietary operating system, Mime OS, which comprises 20+ microservices that control the hardware, and the storage, indexing, processing, services, administrator and user interface layers of the company’s cloud environment.

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