Expediting Mail Migration from MailEnable to OpenSRS

- Friday, January 21, 2011

Last night we had further intermittent problems with the IMAP service and the Operations team have made further changes which as of this morning have enabled the service to run. To give you a rundown of what happened here's the report from the Ops team:

  • Issue: Business Catalyst clients with hosted email were intermittently unable to use the IMAP service for MailEnable accounts. POP and Webmail service remained working throughout this incident
  • Time of Incident Start: 19 Jan 2011 11:00PM PST
  • Technical Action: IMAP has been moved and is working fine on the new machine running version 4.26 MailEnable. All IMAP traffic is now routed to the new machine. POP and Webmail remain on the old machine. Everything seems to be running smoothly. Monitoring will continue and if situation remains stable we will close out this case
  • Vendor Action: MailEnable were unavailable outside business hours.
Currently the service has been running for 5 hours without issues however, in light of the issues that have occurred over the past 48 hours, this is an advisory that we have made a decision on working with OpenSRS to expedite the migration of existing email accounts from MailEnable to OpenSRS from late February (original schedule) to some time before the end of January (next week).

What the Migration Involves

Migrating accounts is a 3 step process for us:

  1. Business Catalyst will need work with the vendor to provision an OpenSRS mailbox for every existing MailEnable mailbox
  2. Following that we will run a script to change DNS settings for all sites with hosted email to redirect all email to the new mailboxes
  3. We will then change your sites DNS settings so that when you go to mail.yourdomain.com you will be logging into the new Webmail interface hosted with OpenSRS
  4. Lastly we will use IMAP to migrate any mail from your old MailEnable account to your new OpenSRS account
Previously we had scheduled this in February to ensure the transition was smooth so that you didn't lose mail in the process or experience any protracted periods of scheduled downtime. With our new expedited schedule I want to keep you informed about how things might need to happen given that we are still monitoring the situation closely with the old service.

Current Plan for Mail Migration

MailEnable is currently stable and if we do not encounter anymore issues then we will be in a position to do the migration without adversely affecting your email service sometime within the next 2 weeks. The team will be able to do steps 1-4 in the shortest amount of time which will cut down the period in which you do not have access to your existing emails in your MailEnable account as they are migrated across to your new OpenSRS account. We are working to schedule the migration as early as possible and still ensure a satisfactory result. When we have scheduled the exact date and time I will post again to provide more details.

Contingency Plan if Issues Arise

If the current MailEnable service experiences any more issues in the next 72 hours we will have to force a migration over to OpenSRS by completing steps 1-3. This means you will be receiving email on your new account from that point forward and that you will also be able to login to your new Webmail interface. However, there is one issue:

  1. For those using IMAP and those others who use POP with the option “Leave a copy of the message on the server”, you will not have access to your emails on your account up to the point of the forced migration. This will last for a period of up to 60 hours while we complete step 4 and migrate the emails from the old account to the new account

Answering Some Questions from Yesterdays Post

  • @John - Unfortunately, communication issues arose yesterday because it actually takes time to research and investigate the issue to find out what's happening before I can post a meaningful update (something other than a copy of the twitter status) on the blog. In the meantime partners should always check our twitter status on the top right corner of the support home page to find out if there are any system issues. That's always the first thing to get updated whenever we have incidents
  • @Galija - what's cooking with the mail server is that we've known about our MailEnable issues and we had a plan to migrate to OpenSRS next month. It's unfortunate that these incidents have hit us before we could implement our plan
  • @Angela - they should be downloading now, if not please talk to Support using the Live Chat option on the bottom of the Support Home Page to get them to help you out
  • @Bret - thanks, we have updated our process to make sure that bc_obnw tweets any blog updates that go up about system incidents
  • @Jacob - currently I cannot authorize a refund or other types of compensation, this is a matter I have to take to executive management at Adobe. Meanwhile I've done all in my power to explain what went wrong, to apologize and explain what we're doing about it
  • @Laura - in an earlier blog post I said the switch would happen on Jan 15. My apologies, I didn't make it clear that the switch from MailEnable to OpenSRS was scheduled to happen 48 hours after the release so in the end it happened around Jan 16. I hope you've been able to move your client over to OpenSRS since their mailboxes were new it shouldn't have been a major issue to 'lose' the existing mail
  • @Carlos, @Karen and @Howard - the emails that you didn't receive while the service was down have probably bounced and therefore 'lost'
  • @Louise - I'm sorry we have lost your confidence. I can only hope with some the actions we are taking around the migration to OpenSRS and further behind the scenes work to shore up systems our record will improve this year. I know it takes a track record to earn confidence. It hasn't been a good start and as Product Manager I'm really feeling your pain :(
Apologies once again on behalf of Business Catalyst
Eddy Chan (Product Manager)