14 September 2008

Distress From Workplace.....

This happened on last Saturday.

Fist thing first, I was quite happy with the HmailServer setup I created, and usually when I feel certain about something, nothing bad will happen. And yes, nothing bad happened on my side that day...however, it was a bit...different. :( Be wary, this story is a mix between my work and my personal story, don't get confused.

Let's start from the beginning...

That morning, as usual, I checked all configurations and log entries on all of my servers on my workplace. No, there was no strange behavior or entries.... Besides, the day before Saturday is Friday that usually doesn't have too much activities inside outside my company. Heeee another relaxing day, I thought. My IPCOP box that usually gives me headache when it encounters weird problems, on that day was very quiet. 'Nice day' popped out on my head.

I ate a full meal at 9 AM, while nursing my little daughter simultaneously, because I had but little time to do that. She was pretty energetic and lively. :D Hm hm... While I was eating, one of my staffs contacted me that she already sent regular incoive report via telephone. Of course, she sent also that report to me via email (bcc, not cc... to avoid potential conflict) and to our lawyers that don't have email account on our domain. I opened Outlook and synchronize my inbox. Two emails were taken from server. I checked the senders and the subjects. The first was from my CEO, telling me that she basically still needs treatement from her latest illness, and the second, of course, from my employee.


And I continued my meal, and spoonfed my daughter again. I couldn't be happier, yes? After a busy week, I needed some respose as well to proceed to another busy week again. Few hours passed without any noticeable problems on my office.

Then, at 11 AM or so, the problem began. My employee who sent me report I told you before called me again via telephone. She said that our lawyers actually haven't received her emails, and complained to her. HA? 'It was impossible!' I said that to her. She asked my help to clarify and rectify the problem if needed.

I went to the email server and opened HmailServer interface. I clicked 'show log' button and opened the latest log in notepad. I sorted through all (stupid) entries, and found entry which recorded her email delivery activities. To my surprise, the log showed that her email was actually sent properly... How come that I could get her email whilst our lawyers couldn't? Blah...

I asked her to resend the email again and she did so. I checked the log again and it showed that her email should have been sent to our lawyers mailboxes properly. However, after a quick call to our lawyers, they confirmed that the emails hadn't reached their inbox.... I pinged their server to make sure their server DOES operate and run correctly. I even tried to remote their server to make sure everything's fine. Yes yes, their server ran correctly. Something must be wrong between my server and theirs, and that suspect is called 'internet'.

My quick analysis said that I need to test my server first. So I sent to yahoo and gmail domain. I did that and.... wtf? The emails I sent didn't get delivered to both yahoo and gmail. To be quite honest, I was very confident that my email servers didn't get misconfigured....because the day before, it delivered every emails to their destinations precisely. Suddenly I remembered that HmailServer was actually relay our emails again to our ISP's SMTP server. Having recalled that, I routed my email delivery path to our secondary SMTP server (another ISP's) and tried to resend email to both Yahoo and Gmail.

And voila! It's working! The test email I sent got delivered to both domain. Knowing that, I routed all emails sent from my servers to our secondary ISP's SMTP. I told my employee to resend her email again and made sure she confirmed to our lawyers that her mail actually got received by them. Few minutes passed, and she confirmed that the email she sent had arrived on our lawyers' mailboxes.


With this case cleared, I've had abandoned my daughter for nearly 30 minutes.... lucky me she didn't cry. >_> Sorry, Novie...didn't mean to do that.....

Moral of the story: Always test all of your connections and don't put all of your hopes on one.


mentor said...

How about the speed of your mail server. It is acceptable. I find that most of the mail server are too slow unless you configure it with outlook

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