Server down (9/2/11)??

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Postby pblinks » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:55 am

soma wrote:It's not "lashing out" to make a judgement about whether the state of a service is acceptable to you or not. You even implied yourself that there are possibly contexts for which it's not the right solution.


My comment was not about your post, or anyone else's in particular in this thread.

The dangers of running all your e-mail through one, maybe unreliable, service have been around pretty much since sg started, and I wanted to clarify I did not mind at all about that aspect of the service.

But, seeing that you believe your post was just the equivalent of saying "this is not for me", let me tell you that if I was the one running a service for years on end (for free) and someone told me

soma wrote:Non-responsiveness tells me that this service is effectively dead and has only been limping along.


(when it actually isn't true) I would not be happy with that person.
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Re: Still not back to normal

Postby dogfish » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:58 am

dogfish wrote:I did get some e-mails today, but SG is still not back to normal at the moment, as far as I can tell.

I did not get an e-mail message I expected and the test message I sent did never arrived.


Finally got the expected message and the test message took 23 minutes to arrive.
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Re: Still not back to normal

Postby nospamjohn » Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:19 am

dogfish wrote:I did get some e-mails today, but SG is still not back to normal at the moment, as far as I can tell.

I did not get an e-mail message I expected and the test message I sent did never arrived.


Individual experiences seem to vary. I received several emails today that I know were send during the outage, as well as my own test email sent early during the outage.

I am still awaiting replies to two newly-created SG accounts, but they would not have generated immediate automatic replies anyway, so I will wait a bit before sending them again.

EDIT: I was composing the above when you added your last line about receiving the expected message, etc., so I had not seen it yet.
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Re: Seems to be still down 2011-09-03

Postby gourmet » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:06 am

I can now confirm that email was lost during Spamgourmet outage. I have automated monitoring for SG email forwarding using 30 minute interval. Quite big batch of email bounced back and never went trough. Having backup server (even just a queue server) would have solved this issue.

As I have said here and in many other forums, with SMTP there are two inherit problems when servers aren't working or performing as expected.

Capacity problems
If server is too slow or all SMTP sessions are all being used or any (4XX) error code is returned. Then messages start do disappear in random! This has been happening with SG several times. At one point I think it was more like a chronic problem. Mail got lost all the time, but just very small percentage from hosts that had only a few retries and had short queue expire time. Servers with more retries and longer queue times did get mail delivered. So problem wasn't obvious for everyone.

First clue to users about this problem is that delivering email start to take (at times) longer than usual. It's clear indication that this problem exists. So if you send email to your self as a test, and it takes more than 5 minutes to get delivered. Of course you can do more advanced analysis on SMTP level, but I'm sure that 99% of users aren't going to do that anyway.

Down time
If server is down for too long, messages start to disappear but not so randomly. Disappearing order depends from sending servers queue timeout. Which can be nowadays even something like 4 hours. So if mail server is down for 4 hours or more some email starts to get lost. For that reason backup server is really essential requirement.

Back in old good days severs often kept emails in queue for at least one week, but that's pretty rare now AFAIK. First warning about mail not getting delivered was given in 24 hours but server still kept retrying. I know that some servers now give out warning just in 15 minutes.

In 2008 I wrote:
When all SMTP connections to server are used, process of email delivery starts to become random event. Meaning that there is change that email gets through immediately and there is also slight change that email doesn't get ever delivered.

It's just like tossing a dice. You got 10 tosses. When you toss dice and get one, email is delivered. There is also change that you don't get one at all with those 10 tosses you have. In that case email is lost.

So email delay is not about emails being in simple FIFO queue, getting just delivered late.

And that's why this situation is unbearable. IMHO


Conclusion
My honest recommendation is that you shouldn't use SG for anything important. If email gets lost, you shouldn't be upset.

I have also run many free web services and created freeware applications. Nothing is more demotivating than people bitching about free service/software they're using. Trust me, I know.

If SG isn't enough reliable for you, then use another alternative. - Thanks.

I can also remind that SG is open source, so you can install your own instance at anytime. Just remember to Administer it better. If you just think you can.

Best regards,
Sami Lehtinen
www.sami-lehtinen.net

Edit: A few typos fixed.
Last edited by gourmet on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby loki9797979797 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:38 am

@spamgourmet admins: thanks a lot for the amazing service (dont bother moans like soma, gourmet, they?re just thread hijackers not contributing to a free service)
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Postby ozmodiar » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:53 pm

Thank you Sami and admins. Your service is much appreciated!
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Postby soma » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:06 am

loki9797979797 wrote:@spamgourmet admins: thanks a lot for the amazing service (dont bother moans like soma, gourmet, they?re just thread hijackers not contributing to a free service)

A thread hijacker? Seriously?

I never once suggested that I was getting too little for my money (i.e. none). I simply said that it appeared to me that perhaps this was an abandoned project (it happens) since no one had heard from the admins. I don't care if they've moved on in life or gotten busier. I was only blaming myself that I had used it for too many things. If anyone is being unnecessarily harsh or moaning here, it's not me.

Also, the idea that participating in a support forum, providing data about outages etc, isn't contributing, however little, is an insult to the user community of which you are a part.
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Postby gourmet » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:01 am

I don't know exactly what caused the outage. But with Windows(tm) servers I prefer to boot servers regularly, so there won't be random crashes when uptime gets too high. ;) Maybe SG should also boot weekly.

I know this is pure speculation, but that's what I have learned to do with servers. Weekly or monthly autoboot. Or with really bad memory leaking apps daily reboot.
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