Menu
Yahoo struggles under weight of long email outage

Yahoo struggles under weight of long email outage

As Yahoo works to get email working, analyst expects exodus of its users

As Yahoo goes into another day of an long email outage, angry users are venting their frustrations on social networks.

At least one industry analyst said that when an email outage goes from a few hours to a few days, its users move on to new services. Many Yahoo email users are probably using the downtime to set up new Gmail or Outlook.com accounts.

"This is a major setback," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Long email outages are awful in this age of constant connection. Long outages are a big problem. I can't remember anything like this."

The trouble began around 1:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, when users began complaining that they couldn't access email in their inboxes and the emails they were sending weren't being delivered.

Blaming a hardware a problem, Yahoo tweeted, "We know some of our users are unable to use Yahoo Mail. We're on it & trying to restore access in a few hours. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The company's engineers, however, needed more than a few hours for the problem.

On Wednesday night, Yahoo tweeted again, this time noting, "Your most recent messages may not be appearing in your inbox. We have a backlog from the outage & are trying to deliver them ASAP."

On its status page, the company admitted that the issue had been harder to fix than they had expected. "We have dozens of people working around the clock to bring it to a resolution," noted Yahoo. "We believe our current efforts will restore our users' access to their inboxes by 3pm PT [on Dec. 11]."

That, however, did not happen.

Later Wednesday, Yahoo reported that "most affected users" were able to access their Yahoo Mail accounts on the Web and on Yahoo's mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8. The company also said most users should have been able to log in to their accounts and send and receive messages.

They also noted that users' most recent emails still may not have appeared in their inboxes.

"We're starting to deliver emails that were sent to you during the outage," Yahoo wrote. "Because we have a backlog, it may take us a bit of time but rest assured we're trying to deliver them as fast as we can... We're still working on bringing all accounts up to date."

The trouble continued Thursday. "We can confirm that 97% of affected users have access to their Mail accounts on Web, POP and the Yahoo Mail iOS, Android and Windows 8 apps," Yahoo reported at 3 p.m. ET. "For these users, we have delivered 80% of their queued messages that were sent from 10:27 PM PT on 12/9 until now."

The company acknowledged that "some users" were still having trouble accessing their email. "We're working tirelessly to restore access to their accounts," Yahoo added.

At 6:30 p.m. ET, Yahoo said it was still working on outstanding problems.

On Thursday afternoon, Twitter user @Kidsonthekorner complained, "@yahoomail went from apathy to panic now dread. Will I ever get my emails?"

Yahoo replied to the user, "We're working on this right now and we expect all emails to be delivered by tomorrow afternoon."

However, @Kidsonthekorner wasn't buying it. "Not really comforting when you've been saying that for the last two days," she replied.

For Gottheil, the outage is a major blow to Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer's attempts to turn around a company that had been lagging for years.

"I'd say there is a major panic at Yahoo about now," he said. "Gmail is innovating all the time, and lots of things integrate with it. Some people will switch because, for email, it's all about uptime... It's certainly a setback. It's harder to innovate when you're struggling to keep the lights on."

This article, Yahoo struggles under weight of long email outage, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about web apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags web appsYahoodisaster recoveryapplicationsSAPDesktop Appssoftware

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments