Cloud provider Rackspace is affected by a 12-hour Exchange outage


American cloud computing service provider Rackspace is investigating a 12-hour and still active outage that is causing connectivity issues and impacting hosted Microsoft Exchange environments they manage for their customers.

The list of affected services includes MAPI/RPC, POP, IMAP, SMTP, ActiveSync, and the Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface used to access the hosted Exchange instance for online email management.

“We are investigating an issue affecting our Hosted Exchange environments. More details will be released as they become available,” Rackspace said at 2:49 a.m. EST Friday night when it confirmed the outage.

Twelve hours later and multiple updates with no information on what’s causing what it calls a “system glitch,” the company said it was “aware of an issue affecting” hosted exchange environments and that its engineering teams continue to work “towards a resolution.”

“Currently, we are still in the investigation phase of this incident and will update our status page as more information becomes available,” Rackspace added in an update to its status page.

Rackspace Exchange outage
Rackspace Exchange outage

“Thanks for your patience. Our engineers continue to work on the connection and login issues in our Hosted Exchange environments. We are working diligently to resolve the issue.” tweetedwithout providing any information about the reasons for the failure.

Affected customers were advised to check the status page for the latest updates, although there are also no details on the root cause of the outage.

In response, Rackspace’s disgruntled customers are now questioning the company social media to provide an ETA for when the service disruption will be resolved and to share plans to switch to another, more transparent Managed Service Provider (MSP).

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“Unacceptable reaction to that. We can all understand an outage, but the lack of communication will cost you thousands of customers, including all my customers,” said one customer tweeted.

“12 hours and still investigating? Something stinks here! Transparency is no longer an option, it’s 100% required for you to keep a single customer at this point,” another added.

Although there is no evidence to support this, some customers have expressed concerns that the outage could be the direct result of a malware or ransomware attack, based on Rackspace’s limited information.