No cloud service provider should ever claim 100% uptime and it seems that Mimecast had a very tough day yesterday. Its mail servers went down in the UK, bringing down its cloud mail management services and angering many of its UK customers who couldn’t access the mail service.
The company blames the outage on a series of servers coming down in one of its UK data centers. It later updated that a server by server check is underway and a good number of the servers have gone back up. This indicates the extent of the outage as well.
With emails getting throttled, there’s no surprise that users do not have any good words to speak for Mimecast. Some users complained that they haven’t been able to communicate with their clients because their mails are “in the post”.
The cost which Mimecast will have to pay in terms of lost user confidence and potential lawsuits from really, really angry users will make matters worse. What’s more alarming is Mimecast’s claim for 100% uptime in its SLA (Service Level Agreement). It is one thing to claim 100% uptime in marketing campaigns and another to legally bind into providing something which is not possible. According to many in the industry, offering 100% uptime in SLA is “nonsense” and it seems like Mimecast will have to face the brunt of their untrue claims.
With all the benefits which Cloud offers, the downside is equally significant. In private networks, server or system outages may be tolerated and seldom leak out to the press and even if they do, it’s not significant to impact the organization in any negative manner. With Cloud, it’s different. We have seen it often times that outages which may only last a few minutes create a ripple effect and many a times result in companies not able to recover from the bad reputation they leave behind.
There is no scenario which looks promising for Mimecast right now but the market has to respond on the alarming developments at Mimecast and market will take into account user sentiment which is definitely not looking good. Will a formal apology patch the reputation?
By Salam UI Haq