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Cloud provider Rackspace hit by ongoing 12-hour Exchange outage

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American cloud computing services provider Rackspace is investigating a 12-hour-long and still active outage leading to connectivity issues and affecting hosted Microsoft Exchange environments they manage for their customers.

The list of impacted services includes MAPI/RPC, POP, IMAP, SMTP, ActiveSync, and the Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface used to access the Hosted Exchange instance to manage email online.

“We are investigating an issue that is affecting our Hosted Exchange environments. More details will be posted as they become available,” Rackspace said on Friday night, at 02:49 AM EST, when it acknowledged the outage.

Twelve hours later and multiple updates without any info on what is causing what it describes as a “system disruption,” the company said it’s “aware of an issue impacting” Hosted Exchange environments and that its engineering teams continue to work “to come to a resolution.”

“At this time we are still in the investigation phase of this incident and will update our status page as more information becomes available,” Rackspace added as part of an update to its status page.

Rackspace Exchange outage
Rackspace Exchange outage

​”Thank you for your patience. Our engineers continue to work on the connectivity and login issues in our Hosted Exchange environments. We are working diligently to resolve the issue,” the company also tweeted, without providing any details on the reason behind the outage.

Affected customers were advised to check the status page for the latest updates, even though those are also lacking details about the outage’s root cause. 

In reply, Rackspace’s irked customers are now asking the company on social media to provide an ETA for when the service disruption will be addressed and share plans to switch to another, more transparent, managed service provider (MSP).

“Unacceptable response to this. We can all understand an outage but the lack of communication is going to lose you thousands of customers including all of my clients,” one customer tweeted.

“12 hours and still investigating? Something stinks here bad! Being transparent is no longer an option, it’s 100% needed in order for you to retain a single customer at this point,” another one added.

Although there is no evidence to confirm it, due to the limited information from Rackspace, some customers have expressed concerns that the outage might be the direct result of a malware or ransomware attack.

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