Storage Soup

Dec 18 2009   9:22PM GMT

Rumblings about problems with Dell/MessageOne — UPDATE 2

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

This morning, analyst David Ferris of Ferris Research sent out a note to subscribers of his Ferris News Service relating rumors that “something is rotten in Denmark” with Dell’s SaaS email archiving subsidiary MessageOne.

According to Ferris’s note–

We’re hearing a series of rumors that something is going badly wrong at Dell/MessageOne. Eg:

  • They’ve lost a huge amount of customer archived email over the past couple of weeks
  • Many customers are making inquiries about other vendors and their ability to ingest/absorb their historic archive data
  • One vendor told us they had been asked to help customers move their emails back from Dell/MessageOne and the most efficient way to ingest large amounts of data (10 TB for example)

Our industry sources confirm that there are indeed MessageOne customers making such inquiries, though the exact severity or root cause of the problem has not been established. Several sources say there has been data loss, though it’s not known how much or how many customers are affected.

One thing all our sources agree on is that over the past month or so — and especially in the last week — customers have had difficulty accessing archived email in Dell/MessageOne’s cloud, either because the data has been lost or because it has been mis-indexed. On top of that, sources say customers have been frustrated with the support they’ve received so far in response to this problem and are looking for ways to move off the service without being penalized.

UPDATE: After business hours on the East Coast last Friday, Dell responded with the following statement through a spokesperson:

Dell is committed to delivering ongoing customer satisfaction – we are aware of the issue and are in contact with the customer who has expressed concern over Dell’s service. There are many factors associated with successful email archiving including email formatting, storage management and retention policy frequency, and we are working with the customer to isolate the root cause of this issue.

Note the use of singular nouns — particularly “customer.” Earlier reports seem to indicate a widespread problem, but Dell’s statement seems to imply otherwise. We’ve asked them for further clarification, but given it’s a holiday week, aren’t sure if we’ll hear back.

UPDATE 2: Dell has responded declining further comment.

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