Sometime last night, AOL managed to delete their MX records, causing mail to hard bounce for at least 3 hours, possibly more. Annalivia noticed, contacted the NOC, appropriate people were paged and the records are now functional again.
This morning AOL seems to be having more mail problems, possibly related to everyone retrying mail that was hard bounced last night after the MX record was deleted. Or the company is just finally showing the consequences of laying off so many people last year.
I think the most worrying bit about this is that the AOL NOC didn’t notice there was no mail coming in for 3 hours. I don’t get mail for an hour and I start checking to see if the mailserver has fallen over. I can’t believe no one noticed no incoming mail for 3 hours.
I suggest that anyone who had AOL bounces last night package those up and resend today. But don’t send them all at once, trickle them out over the course of the day. Remember, everyone else is trying to send their mail, too. And AOL is not having a happy day.
UPDATE: The Return Path Received blog points out some of the reasons some of you might still be seeing AOL mail fail. The fix is to flush your DNS cache or reboot your DNS server.