Risk
10/14/2009
02:39 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Postini Customers Fuming Over Outage

E-mail delivery problems dogged Google's Postini Tuesday, and the company's business customers are demanding better communication.

Google's Postini message security and archiving service experienced significant e-mail delivery problems on Wednesday, leading to a flood of outrage from business customers using Postini's service separately and through Google Apps.

The day-long outage prompted pages of complaints on the Postini Help Forum, mainly focused on the lack of communication about the problem.

As a user identified as "Ajax517" put it, "This is shaping up to be a big FAIL on Postini's customer service side."

A user identified as "jcinfargo" offered a similar assessment: "I talked to one reseller yesterday that also uses Postini and he said he has a law firm client that needed an e-mail for their client's trial yesterday that they did not get. This is an epic fail on Google/Postini."

The service disruption also turned into an opportunity for competitors, with some users suggesting alternative business e-mail services.

A representative from one of those services even joined in the discussion, to present an engineering viewpoint and not to make a sales pitch, he insisted.

Erik Boles, senior sales engineer for MX Logic, a competing message security company, said in a forum post, "It amazes me how many companies buy into a product or service based on either the name (Google/Postini) or the price point, and then complain when bad things happen. ...The biggest problem I see here is the complete lack of customer care by Postini."

InformationWeek was contacted by a public relations firm that counts Microsoft as a client to make sure we had heard about the discontent arising from the outage. Such outreach may represent a counteroffensive against Google's marketing campaign to convince businesses to consider "Going Google."

On Tuesday evening, a Google spokesperson said, "We're aware of an issue that's causing a delay in mail delivery for some Postini customers, and are working to fix it as quickly as possible. Outbound mail is fully functional, but inbound mail has been flowing at a reduced rate for affected users."

Some Google Apps Premiere customers, who receive the Postini security component as part of their $50 per user annual fee, were also affected.

On Wednesday morning, at 1:49 AM Pacific Time, a Google engineer said in a forum post the situation had been resolved and that mail delivery rates had returned to normal. The posting states that while e-mail was delayed, "no messages were bounced or deleted."

As per the pattern in outages of this sort, there was an apology and a promise to post within 48 hours an incident report and a list of corrective actions to prevent a repeat of the problem.

Google made similar apologies following a 100-minute Gmail outage in early September, a Gmail outage in August, a major Google outage in May, and a Gmail outage in February.

And of course Google isn't alone in such troubles. Microsoft's Danger has been wrestling with major data availability and loss problems that have affected T-Mobile Sidekick users for about a week. And about 150,000 Facebook users have been experiencing login problems over the past week.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the public cloud, digging into the gritty details of cloud computing services from a dozen vendors. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6335
Published: 2014-08-26
The Backup-Archive client in IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) for Space Management 5.x and 6.x before 6.2.5.3, 6.3.x before 6.3.2, 6.4.x before 6.4.2, and 7.1.x before 7.1.0.3 on Linux and AIX, and 5.x and 6.x before 6.1.5.6 on Solaris and HP-UX, does not preserve file permissions across backup and ...

CVE-2014-0480
Published: 2014-08-26
The core.urlresolvers.reverse function in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3 does not properly validate URLs, which allows remote attackers to conduct phishing attacks via a // (slash slash) in a URL, which triggers a scheme-relative URL ...

CVE-2014-0481
Published: 2014-08-26
The default configuration for the file upload handling system in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3 uses a sequential file name generation process when a file with a conflicting name is uploaded, which allows remote attackers to cause a d...

CVE-2014-0482
Published: 2014-08-26
The contrib.auth.middleware.RemoteUserMiddleware middleware in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3, when using the contrib.auth.backends.RemoteUserBackend backend, allows remote authenticated users to hijack web sessions via vectors relate...

CVE-2014-0483
Published: 2014-08-26
The administrative interface (contrib.admin) in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3 does not check if a field represents a relationship between models, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information via a to_field ...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.