Fasthosts botched mail server update permanently deleted customer emails - 17/10/07

Fasthosts, "the UK's number 1 web host", has admitted to a botched update to its mail server that permanently deleted customer emails.

The mistake last week was compounded when the firm's backup system failed, meaning about half of the affected emails are now lost forever.

Fasthost sent us its side of the story:

Following a human error during an update to our mail server housekeeping processes, a number of Fasthosts Advanced POP3 mailboxes unfortunately incurred a failure resulting in a loss of stored emails. Although approximately 50 per cent of emails were able to be restored from our backup, we regret that any lost emails will not be recoverable. Unfortunately for the other 50 per cent of emails, the backup processes ran soon after the error, and hence these emails were non-recoverable.

The problem has affected a small number of Fasthosts advanced mailboxes - not standard mailboxes nor exchange mailboxes.

The firm apologised and says its fix means the same disaster cannot happen again.

While this is not news to CCS as we already provide services to some ex-Fasthosts customers, I am surprised they haven't learnt from their mistakes. CCS first large influx of managed email customers came to us following an incident with delivery of email to the customer mailboxes on the managed platform with large numbers of emails miraculously disappearing and no explanation!

I would like to briefly touch on our email management and archive process at CCS, just to ensure you are aware we take far greater steps than Fasthosts to look after your email.

1. We have geographically diverse mail MTA's with three different internet transit providers.
2. The performance and throughput is closely monitored on each MTA to ensure we have capacity available for timely delivery.
3. We backup each MTA to disk in two diverse locations every 24 hours, running a snapshot to disk process where the NAS is utilised until it is full and the oldest data is truncated to make way for the new data. Currently we have 8 months of snapshots stored for the MTA's.
4. We snapshot each mail server to disk every 6 hours, following the same retention schedule as the MTAs. On the Managed Exchange platforms, we can recover to a single email within the information store and again these are snap shotted to disk every 6 hours.

I hope you can see we take considerably more care of your email than some other providers, and if you wish to take a look at our pop-3 / webmail / Mobile or MS Exchange hosting options, please click HERE.

Find out the latest mail server and managed email news from CCS Leeds