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Big Zimbabwean internet provider, Dandemutande, suffers major outage. Zimbabwe’s .co.zw addresses momentarily rendered unavailable

   

Techzim is reliably informed that Dandemutande, one of the internet access providers in Zimbabwe, has suffered a major outage rendering some of its key services unavailable.

The company was hit by a major power outage at one of its data centers in Harare on the morning of Thursday 26 October 2017.

The outage apparently resulted in several services by the company going offline, among them the uMAX internet service, its DNS servers (a kind of address book of websites that does the background work of locating websites when customers use the internet).

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Sources have told Techzim that in addition to Dandemutande’s own services, other organisations’ services hosted at the data centre were also knocked offline. Right now one such organisation is the Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association (ZISPA).

ZISPA hosts/hosted its DNS servers (see address book above) with Dandemutande. These DNS servers are extremely important because they are essentially the address books of Zimbabwe’s .co.zw websites and emails. An outage of these servers generally means that people trying to open a .co.zw website or send an email to someone whose email address ends with .co.zw are unable to do so. Indeed, yesterday afternoon, locating some .co.zw was starting to fail.

The ZISPA DNS server problem has apparently been resolved but Techzim is told other Internet Access Providers (essentially 2 of the other 3 big players) had to step in to rescue the situation.

According to information we have, Dandemutande is however yet to fully restore its own DNS servers and the uMAX service.

We reached out to both Dandemutande and ZISPA yesterday evening but we’re yet to get an official response.
However, some sources at Dandemutande told us the following:

  • We experienced an event with our backup power distribution system at one of our three data centres in Harare at 9:30 AM on Thursday morning.
  • The power outage was resolved within minutes.
  • One of our Harare based cloud clusters was affected in the process. (note that Dandemutande has a DC in Avondale and one at another local in Harare)
  • Two out of six Dandemutande DNS servers that are part of this cloud cluster were affected in the process.
  • Evidently our other clients of the affected DC other than uMax clients were restored immediately after the glitch.
  • Dandemutande expects full recovery of services shortly (notably as browsing is working, ZISPA is restored ).

A tip from one of our readers confirms the outage for both corporate and individual websites and email services hosted at Dandemutande. This user offers support for a number of companies hosted by Dandemutande and all their emails and websites have been down. They further go on to state that no communication as to what the problem is or when they’d expect to have it resolved has been sent to them.

Some of Dandemutande’s own websites; dandemutande.co.zw and umax.co.zw are still down.

Dandemutande became a big internet access provider locally after it bought/merged with iWayAfrica in 2015 and then, later on, bought another big provider YoAfrica at the end of 2016.


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