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Clearswift sees domain outage

Email security provider Clearswift recently encountered a domain name debacle that made it near impossible for several customers to send or receive their emails.

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The issue occurred when, the domain where customers' emails are routed for spam and viruses before being filtered, went offline. According to reports, the WhoIs record for the domain shows that it expired on December 13, 2007, suggesting that the outage was likely caused by Clearswift's forgetfulness to renew its registration.

Reports of the problem began coming in on Wednesday morning in the UK and by the evening, support staff had created some backup options that involved customers putting additional addresses into their email servers' configuration files so that if for some reason the first server failed, the email would be routed to a second or third address rather than bouncing.

At present, most customers have been helped, but Clearswift says there are still some that haven't implemented the current solution and are threatening charges.

Although Clearswift is still unsure what exactly caused the outage, its director of product management, Alyn Hockey, says the theory about the lapsed registration may be correct.

Clearswift says it has about 17,000 business customers and filters content for about 25 million end users. Hockey says approximately five percent were affected by the outage.

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