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E-mail Outages – Causes and Prevention

E-mail Outages – Causes and Prevention

E-mail Outages - Causes and Prevention

E-mail Outages – Causes and Prevention

The main problem occurs when it doesn’t. And it doesn’t matter whether you are running a business or running an errand – if your e-mail is not working, you are losing information. The truth is that most businesses experience at least one e-mail outage every year, and this downtime, combined with the recovery costs, can add up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

But what causes the e-mail outages?

There are many reasons why an e-mail system can stop functioning, but at first glance, the e-mail outages can be planned and unplanned.

Planned outages are these times when your e-mail system is down for maintenance or an upgrade. Patch management, moving the servers to a different data center, or simply bringing the system down for tests can also be listed into this category.
Unlike planned e-mail downtime, unplanned outages can catch you unprepared. They are also much harder to pinpoint. When such an issue occurs, the causes can range from hardware or software problems, direct attack, or a human error that causes system overload. Natural events and human accidents are not to be disregarded as well.
A survey conducted recently shows that about 70% of unplanned outages are caused by hardware or software problems such as server failures, connectivity loss, and database corruption.
This is why it is crucial to know the status of your e-mail system 24/7. The best way to do it is to consistently monitor your e-mail with a sample email round-trip 2-step session, ensuring that both your incoming and outgoing email services are working properly from an end-to-end perspective. The checks for this type of monitoring normally follow this scenario:
The email monitoring agent will connect to the outgoing (SMTP) mail server, send a test message, and then will connect and login into your incoming (POP3 or IMAP) server and try to retrieve the message. If the message is retrieved, the test is successful, and the message will be deleted from your email system. If the message cannot be retrieved, the test will be considered failed, and alerts will be sent to the designated contacts. Of course, there are other possibles scenarios, but we will take a closer look at them in our next posts.

Having your e-mail system monitored constantly reduces your e-mail systems’ downtime by up to 80% (compared to downtime without monitoring and error notification services). It also significantly reduces the time to troubleshoot the failed e-mail applications and, consequently, minimizes recovery expenses. Last but not least, being in the loop about your system’s status eliminates the risk of lost or delayed valuable email communications and improves communication experience with your valued customers and associates.

Email Outage

Prevent an email outage with Email Firm.

An email outage can wreak havoc throughout an organization, as email has become indispensable to business communication. When an email outage prevents users from sending or receiving email, business grinds to a halt. Productivity plummets, deadlines are missed and customer frustration rises quickly. And IT teams are flooded with calls, pulling critical resources off of other strategic priorities.

Clearly, avoiding an email outage must be a key priority for IT teams. But traditional approaches that require replication of messaging infrastructure are complex and costly, negatively impacting the bottom line.

Email Firm’s all-in-one service for email security, archiving and continuity provides an easy and affordable way to avoid an email outage.

Email Firm Mailbox Continuity puts an end to the email outage.

Email Firm Mailbox Continuity is designed to simplify email management and mobile email management. Organizations benefit from comprehensive tools to protect email with cloud based email filtering and multi-layered security, search email archives to find message or retrieve deleted emails, and improve Office 365 business continuity by eliminating downtime.

When an email outage or planned downtime takes email servers offline, Email Firm provides users with uninterrupted access to live and historic email and attachments. Using everyday tools like Outlook for Windows and web and mobile applications, users can access their mailbox and calendar information from anywhere, anytime, on any device.

When an email outage takes place, IT simply switches all Outlook clients to send and receive email directly via the Email Firm‘s Continuity platform. Once Exchange servers are back online, Email Firm automatically reconnects and synchronizes any sent or received email during the email outage period. With a 100% service availability SLA, Email Firm is always available to provide employees with access to email when disaster strikes or downtime occurs.

Benefits for avoiding an email outage.

Email Firm Mailbox Continuity provides:

  • Instant failover and fail back, reducing RPO and RTO for email to nearly zero.
  • Immediate switch-over initiated by IT administrators when an event occurs, enabling users to remain productive — most of which will not even know an email outage has occurred.
  • Automatic synchronization of mailboxes when the email outage is over, to eliminate confusion without straining IT resources.
  • Central management of continuity events from a single, web-based console.

Learn more about preventing an email outage with Email Firm , and about Email Firm’s Exchange to Office 365 migration tool and using Email Firm Continuity as a Postini alternative solution.

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