2008/09/20-22 - Incoming Mail Server Outage
For the fourth time in the last week, the University's incoming mail (IMAP) server has crashed for reasons unknown. Users who make use of a standalone e-mail client (Outlook, Thunderbird, Pegasus, etc) will find that their e-mail client reports that the mail server is offline or unavailable. Users trying to log into the webmail client will find that their login repeatedly fail.

On previous occasions, the crashes have happened during office hours and the resulting outages have been no longer than fifteen minutes. This time around, the crash happened at about 1AM. Unfortunately we're only likely to be able to attend to the problem at about 10AM, meaning that the outage will be considerably longer.

Incoming e-mail that arrives during the outage will either be queued by the sender's mail server, or by our secondary mail exchanger in the United States. Once our mail server recovers, this e-mail will slowly be delivered over the next few hours.
During the course of last night, the incoming mail server crashed again. This time around, it did not boot cleanly when we tried to restart it shortly after 8AM. As a result we're currently running some extensive disk checks. This means that the mail server will be unavailable for the next hour or so.

Users will still be able to send outgoing e-mail, and incoming e-mail will be queued for later delivery.