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SMARTGROUPS : Status 21st Jan 17:25

Mail is being delivered but there is still a backlog - an additional mail server has been added to help clear the backlog. Infrastucture inform me that because of various changes they have made they are not able at this time to give an estimate of when the backlog will be cleared. However, they will be able to give an estimate tomorrow morning based on overnight activity. I will update this page accordingly.

Because of the delay in distributing mail it now appears that messages are bouncing because they have been in the queue too long. I have also been informed that even though some mail is bouncing these messages ARE in fact being distributed if the bounced reason is 'operation would cause deadlock'. Messages that are bouncing for any other reason will need to be resent. Messages that have not been distributed and have not bounced are either in the processing queue or the incoming mail queue (see below). Resending these messages will only delay the time before the service is back to normal.

Cause of problem. Apparently there was a Denial of Service attack on the 11th. The available number of connections for mail was considerably less than normal because of this. On the same evening one of the mail servers crashed compounding the problem. This was thought initially to be software related but in fact required a new processor. This was installed on Monday 14th.

Mail has been trickling through since the 14th. The reason for the trickle was identified on Friday 18th so mail is now going through much quicker. In addition incoming mail was held in a different queue as of Friday 18th. As the processing queue is reducing mail is being released from the incoming email queue.

Other problems. The search message index was identified as corrupt and is being rebuilt. Owing to the huge number of messages requiring re-indexing it will take approximately 1 week to rebuild the index. Message re-indexing has been put on hold pending distribution of the mail backlog.

AOL. The AOL problem was resolved by AOL on Friday 14th for teh existing servers. Unfortunately AOL users are now subject to the same problems as everybody else and so are still not receiving emails - albeit for a different reason. Note that we have already asked AOL to add the new mail server to ther protection file but my guess is that it will probably not be actioned immediately so the AOL problem may rear its ugly head again temporarily. We consider this a price worth paying to get the backlog down.

Problems sending out invitations for new groups. The cause of this was identified and fixed on Wednesday 16th. Email replies to invitations are subject to the same mail problems as all incoming email, although invitees can register and join over the web. No invitations were lost during the problem.

Support email - Lack of Response. I am assured that Smartgroups support will be back to 24 hour response within the next week, although current events will clearly not help here.

Smartgroups Future Be assured that every effort is being made to resolve these problems. There is no question of Freeserve 'pulling the plug' or withholding money necessary to support the site. A supported and functional Smartgroups is seen as a vital component of Freeserves end user tools.

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