On the 1st February we experienced high queues within our incoming mail servers. This resulted in delays in customers receiving emails to their mailbox.
Our engineers identified an issue which occurs only at times of peak load on our mail storage platform. We worked through the night in conjunction with our storage suppliers to introduce more capacity. However, due to the quantity of data, performance, and resilience required, this will take several days to become fully functional.
Normal service was maintained until mid-day on the 2nd February, when our email platform experienced exceptionally heavy load and action was required to maintain our email service and avoid any server downtime. While we investigated other methods of mitigating the issue, the decision was made to suspend POP3 access to our mailboxes for the duration of this peak period. While this was not a decision we made lightly, it meant that we were still able to maintain normal email service to a large number of our customers who use Microsoft Exchange, IMAP, or Webmail to access their emails. This further protected our email network from excessive load and the possibility of a failure.
We have also now freed up additional storage capacity through other means, which will take effect from tonight.
13:30: We have restored POP3 access to all mailboxes. However, we have placed a connection limit on the number of open concurrent connections. As a result during peak times some customers connecting to their mailboxes using the POP3 protocol may find access intermittent.
14:00 While the connection limit for POP3 connections is still in place, a very large number of our customers should experience no impact at all. A small number of customers may experience brief losses of connectivity.
We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this issue and hope to resume normal service as soon as possible.