Apple now posting near-daily MobileMe outage updates

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Taking the matter head-on, Apple is now fully acknowledging the problems it's had with MobileMe in the past two weeks as well as the attempts to fix it -- to the point where company chief Steve Jobs is involved.



An anonymous Apple worker has been tasked by Jobs with providing multiple updates per week on a dedicated status page that explain at least some of why the company's new push data service has failed and what has been fixed.



"In the 14 days since we launched, it?s been a rocky road and we know the pain some people have been suffering," says the employee. "Be assured people here are working 24-7 to improve matters, and we?re going to favor getting you new info hot off the presses even if we have to post corrections or further updates later."



For its first update, the company maintains that a "serious problem" with its email servers shut out access to about one percent of MobileMe accounts but now says that it has given some of those accounts web access to their messages and that a complete restoration should be completed in one week, or the start of August. The worker does, however, warn that as much as 10 percent of the messages delivered between July 16th and July 18th will have been lost.



While not providing full details, the staffer does also add that many of the company's problems with the service were triggered by a surge of data traffic on the launch of iPhone 3G and the iPhone 2.0 firmware that was far in excess of what was anticipated, knocking out web access to all of MobileMe's features. According to Apple, the company has not only bolstered its capacity but taken preventative steps with its software to guard against these kinds of outages as well as smooth out the overall experience.



"The team has also fixed over 70 bugs including one that was preventing MobileMe IMAP mail folders from syncing correctly between the web app and Mac OS X Mail or Outlook," the employee notes, "plus others correcting display issues in Calendar and in general enhancing the performance of our web apps."



A second update is expected this weekend that should provide further detail. In the meantime, the company has updated its MobileMe email support article to reflect the new partial solution for those affected by the most severe component of the outage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 112
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 890member
    An surge in traffic at an unexpected level? With the world waiting for months what did they expect.



    It gets back to my favorite hardware lesson from the 70's. IBM rep goes into grate detail preparing a hardware proposal for an oil company in Texas. Lots of work with IT and his own tech resources to ensure everything is spot on. Makes the presentation to the CEO who then says, "fine, now double that".



    In an era where people focus on how cheap PCs and servers are it seems that we've lost the reality that we sometimes need to double our precise calculations in order to meet customers' responses.



    Relative cost to Apple to do that? Trivial. Cost to Apple not to do it? Rather high, as we've seen.
  • Reply 2 of 112
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Cloud (server) stuff is clearly not Apple's strength. It's not about intuitive user interfaces or industrial design but handling thousands of users at once without the computer falling down. This type of situation will rarely be encountered by a desktop or iPhone app coder.
  • Reply 3 of 112
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    It's certainly an improvement that they are talking about what's happening now, but for me this result is also one of the things I feared would happen in that they are still only talking about that "1%" that is without any service because of the server failure.



    I am not part of that 1%, nor is anyone I know, but I am still having outrageous problems with MobileMe as are most of the people I talk to.



    IMO this "communication" still amounts to completely ignoring the majority of the problems that people are actually having. Apple seems to still be pretending that if not for this 1% the service is fine, when it's pretty much the opposite of that.



    In another four days, they will announce the server is fixed, the "1% having problems" will be lifted from the trouble page, and it will appear fixed, but it won't be.



    This was one of my big grievances with the old .Mac service. It often did not work at all, but the main page always had that silly little ticker saying that "100% of everything is super-fine" (or whatever) when it simply wasn't.
  • Reply 4 of 112
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,235member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    It's not about intuitive user interfaces or industrial design but handling thousands of users at once without the computer falling down. This type of situation will rarely be encountered by a desktop or iPhone app coder.



    Kind of like the iTunes Music Store? It being an utter failure and all. ;-)
  • Reply 5 of 112
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Cloud (server) stuff is clearly not Apple's strength. It's not about intuitive user interfaces or industrial design but handling thousands of users at once without the computer falling down. This type of situation will rarely be encountered by a desktop or iPhone app coder.



    Who's strength is it really? If you remember, Gmail avoided the problem, by only having an "invitation only" signup when it launched - severely limiting the chances of this happening.
  • Reply 6 of 112
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    70 bugs fixed, and still problems? Sounds like more attention was needed before launch.
  • Reply 7 of 112
    columbuscolumbus Posts: 281member
    Who was doing the quality control if they shipped with 70 bugs?
  • Reply 8 of 112
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shogun View Post


    70 bugs fixed, and still problems? Sounds like more attention was needed before launch.



    Indeed. I really don't get this whole thing. It is very unlike Apple to be so ill prepared. I mean, if they couldn't predict and prepare for the launch, how will they fare, say, during the Olympics, or when another major world event happens? I don't buy that they were overwhelmed by traffic. What did they think? People where going to hold back and stagger their upgrading of their own accord to prevent a surge of activity that might bring Apple's servers down? We may be loyal fans but we are also highly impatient. I think this whole debacle is bad in a very major way. Not that people won't use mobileMe, but it is very hard to trust the service now. After two weeks it is still erratic, at times unusable slow. I have used .mac for quite some time but it has always been very slow. I have never used the email because it always felt like a project still under development. I had high hopes for mobileMe, and in spite of everything I still do, but I am going to take a lot of convincing to start using the service as my one stop email, calendar etc service. I reckon this major screw up has put the whole thing back at least a year in terms of full usage. How can anyone, let alone a business rely on the service before it has proven itself over time, through busy seasons, and world events. I certainly will not use it with out some kind of back up policy. Can you imagine losing 10% or more of your email? For good? Holy Crap!
  • Reply 9 of 112
    I now, after one week have web mail access.....my bad for not properly setting up backup mail....it would seem I've lost over 7 thousand dollars in sales because of this outage! Thanks Apple!!
  • Reply 10 of 112
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post


    Who's strength is it really? If you remember, Gmail avoided the problem, by only having an "invitation only" signup when it launched - severely limiting the chances of this happening.



    Gmail is a prime example of how it should be rolled out. A controlled flow. Apple wanted v2.0, iPhone 3G and MobileMe to come out as a trifecta of interoperbility but instead it was a perfect storm.



    They could have offered parts of the MM service to current .Mac subscribers and/or regulated the free 60 day trial until they had every well tested and under control. Apple should have planned it better to account for the torrent of new users wanting to try out the Push service with their v2.0 firmware.
  • Reply 11 of 112
    doroteadorotea Posts: 323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Gmail is a prime example of how it should be rolled out. A controlled flow. Apple wanted v2.0, iPhone 3G and MobileMe to come out as a trifecta of interoperbility but instead it was a perfect storm.



    Agree that apple went for the BIG BANG effect and a big bang it was. Way too much rolled out at one time.



    I was involved in a total rollover from one web app to a different one and it was a disaster. You can never test enough for load problems. You think you have it nailed and then the hurricane comes.



    A controlled rollout would have been MUCH better.
  • Reply 12 of 112
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Can you imagine losing 10% or more of your email? For good? Holy Crap!



    Yes, I can. It would give me one day of my life back. Ah...
  • Reply 13 of 112
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Cloud (server) stuff is clearly not Apple's strength. It's not about intuitive user interfaces or industrial design but handling thousands of users at once without the computer falling down. This type of situation will rarely be encountered by a desktop or iPhone app coder.



    Somehow I think they are getting that experience now, the hard way. Perhaps this hard lesson is what it'll take for the key players in this to receive some special attention from Steve that will motivate them to correct the problem promptly.



    Didn't Apple buy up a bunch of new land and make server farms out of it or something a while back? Is this what has become of that?
  • Reply 14 of 112
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's certainly an improvement that they are talking about what's happening now, but for me this result is also one of the things I feared would happen in that they are still only talking about that "1%" that is without any service because of the server failure.



    I am not part of that 1%, nor is anyone I know, but I am still having outrageous problems with MobileMe as are most of the people I talk to.



    IMO this "communication" still amounts to completely ignoring the majority of the problems that people are actually having. Apple seems to still be pretending that if not for this 1% the service is fine, when it's pretty much the opposite of that.



    In another four days, they will announce the server is fixed, the "1% having problems" will be lifted from the trouble page, and it will appear fixed, but it won't be.



    This was one of my big grievances with the old .Mac service. It often did not work at all, but the main page always had that silly little ticker saying that "100% of everything is super-fine" (or whatever) when it simply wasn't.





    What I don't understand is that, at least in my experience thus far, I've been having periodic trouble all over the place. Sometimes it's iCal calendars not syncing. Sometimes it's the inability to post a blog entry on my website. Sometimes it's Address Book not syncing at all. And then other times, it's the inability for people, including myself, to be able to post comments on my website blog. It's all over the place. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.



    I must say that I'm not happy with what I've seen so far. I find it a cop out that they didn't anticipate this volume of traffic. They knew how many people already had accounts. They knew how many first version iPhones they had sold, and they knew that with the upgrade all of those phones, not to mention the 3G phones, we all would start knocking on their door for the new content. This couldn't have been a surprise at all to them.
  • Reply 15 of 112
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    All my Mobile Me shit is now working, including contacts. Thank God.
  • Reply 16 of 112
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Amateur Hour.
  • Reply 17 of 112
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neiltony View Post


    I now, after one week have web mail access.....my bad for not properly setting up backup mail....it would seem I've lost over 7 thousand dollars in sales because of this outage! Thanks Apple!!



    Hey man, you should have read the service conditions. MobileMe is not designed for businesses at all and cannot and will not be held responsible for any issue like this.



    Honestly... what are you thinking trusting a new service like this? Send your email temporarily elsewhere. This is a new service. The only people who have a reason to gripe some is the .Mac holdouts, and it was in the agreement there: PERSONAL USE ONLY!



    If you want a business email, you set up your own domain and route from there. Don't trust Apple after such hell with MobileMe and .Mac





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bpg131313 View Post


    What I don't understand is that, at least in my experience thus far, I've been having periodic trouble all over the place. Sometimes it's iCal calendars not syncing. Sometimes it's the inability to post a blog entry on my website. Sometimes it's Address Book not syncing at all. And then other times, it's the inability for people, including myself, to be able to post comments on my website blog. It's all over the place. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.



    I must say that I'm not happy with what I've seen so far. I find it a cop out that they didn't anticipate this volume of traffic. They knew how many people already had accounts. They knew how many first version iPhones they had sold, and they knew that with the upgrade all of those phones, not to mention the 3G phones, we all would start knocking on their door for the new content. This couldn't have been a surprise at all to them.





    I agree with you on both points: Traffic should have been better handled, and MobileMe is failing left, right and centre.
  • Reply 18 of 112
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Well I think everyone can agree with you there ? Apple can't be trusted for business related services.
  • Reply 19 of 112
    spishspish Posts: 9member
    Agreed. This shouldn't have been rolled out as a usable service until it had been properly put through its paces. Hate on MS all you want but at least they did open betas on their live services. You can bet by the time live mesh is out of beta they'll have sorted out most of the issues apple is dealing with now.
  • Reply 20 of 112
    steviet02steviet02 Posts: 594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by columbus View Post


    Who was doing the quality control if they shipped with 70 bugs?



    Steve Jobs... Remember him?
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