Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever
For those of you who don’t remember, Rackspace used to have a slogan of fanatical support. In June of 2020, they changed the company name to Rackspace Technologies and dropped the fanatical slogan in favor of “Embrace Technology. Empower customers. Deliver the Future.” Whole lot of full stops in the new slogan, just like the full stop of their Hosted Exchange product which was halted on December 2nd due to an unnamed issue.
As of this writing, Rackspace has not clarified what the inciting incident was that caused them to shut down their Exchange service for thousands of customers, nor whether there is risk of data loss or leakage. If this is simply a patching issue with their servers and they shut things down to prevent data loss, that’s not great, but it’s better than the alternative- that Rackspace’s Hosted Exchange was hacked using one of many well-known vulnerabilities and data was exfiltrated by unknown adversaries. That’s, as we call it in the business, worse.
For those left in the lurch on a Friday, Rackspace was advising that they migrate to Microsoft 365 to restore email services, and offering free licenses for customers who want to attempt the migration. Rackspace suggests that such a migration should take but a moment, 30-60 minutes. Those of us who have actually performed migrations to Exchange Online can only shake our heads in confused bewilderment.
Even if you are successful in the account migration, Rackspace still has all your Exchange data, so your users will be migrated into empty mailboxes. I suppose that is one way to get to Inbox Zero. Obviously, after more than 3 days of downtime, customers are furious and this is looking very much like a death knell to Rackspace’s already declining profile in the industry. Where once we had fanatics now we have only sadness.