London Maintenance April 13, 2019 – Frequently Asked Questions

Marketo will be performing mandatory maintenance in our London data center from Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 8:00 PM GMT to Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 2:00 AM GMT. Only Marketo instances in the London data center will be affected, and no Marketo instances in any other data center will be impacted.The maintenance is expected to take as little as two hours to complete, however, customers should plan for service disruptions for the entire maintenance window to account for unforeseen complications. Service will be restored as quickly as possible.

All Marketo services for customers in the London data center will be disrupted during the maintenance window. To help you plan for the service disruption, we have gathered and answered some frequently asked questions.

Why is the maintenance needed?

As network traffic increases, we must also scale our infrastructure to prevent unplanned service disruptions. We are replacing our network’s firewall and load balancer devices, which will improve security, add capacity, and increase availability for all customers.

The current network devices are processing more traffic than they are designed to handle, so immediate action is required. Upgrading our network infrastructure re-establishes stability to our services, providing better service for all customers

Why is the maintenance scheduled on April 13th?

We never want to interrupt service. However, if we have to, the goal is to minimize impact as much as possible. As a global operation, it’s difficult to find a time that has the lowest traffic in all geographic regions. The maintenance was scheduled for a Saturday because, as a weekend, it doesn’t fall on a workday in any country. We’ve scheduled additional coverage from our Network, Engineering, and Support teams and will be actively monitoring progress throughout the maintenance period.

If the maintenance is only expected to take two hours, why is it scheduled for six hours?

In previous maintenance replacements of the same devices, we were able to complete the process within the same amount of time. Therefore, we are expecting that it should only take two hours. However, there is always the possibility of unforeseen circumstances that could extend the recovery time. The additional time is to account for this possibility and all customers should plan for service to be disrupted for the entire six-hour timeframe.


April 13, 8:00 PM GMT - 8:30 PM GMT

    • Status page maintenance notice updated to "In Progress"
    • All Marketo back-end services stopped in the London data center
    • Firewall and load balancer upgrades and maintenance initiated

April 13, 8:30 PM GMT - 10:00 PM GMT

    • Firewall and load balancer maintenance completed
    • Begin system recovery process
    • Systems restored, and network system monitoring begins
    • Status page maintenance notice updated

April 13, 10:00 PM GMT - April 14, 2:00 AM GMT

    • Ongoing system monitoring and analysis of any abnormalities

Where can I get updates during the maintenance process?

Marketo's Status page, will be updated with the progress of the maintenance process in real time. Please see the notice "Scheduled Maintenance in London data center, April 13," and subscribe to updates to have the most current information sent directly to you in real time.

What services will be affected?

During the maintenance process, all Marketo services housed in the London data center will be disrupted. This will include interactive logins, email, landing pages, forms, and all other services that require access to the instance, such as API and LaunchPoint services. Many back-end services will be stopped, therefore campaigns and programs scheduled to run or in progress during this time will be delayed.

Will images display in emails?

If the images are hosted in your Marketo instance, and your instance is in the London data center, those image files will not be accessible, therefore they will not display during the maintenance downtime. Images hosted externally will display as normal.

Will hyperlinks in emails connect to the page they should go to?

This depends on whether the link is being tracked or not. If the link is a tracked link, it will not connect to the destination URL. If the link is not being tracked, it will connect as expected.

Email links are tracked by default, but that tracking can be disabled. Tracked links operate by first going through a Marketo server to identify which person clicked which link. The page then navigates to the corresponding destination page as expected. While the maintenance is in process, that Marketo server will not be reachable. Therefore, tracked links will not be able to navigate to the destination page. Links that are not tracked do not go through a Marketo server and will not be affected.

Will our unsubscribe page be accessible?

While the maintenance is in process, the London data center will be offline, therefore unsubscribe pages hosted in London Marketo instances cannot be reached. Any person who navigates to one of these unsubscribe pages will receive an error message. The error message will state that there was a technical issue preventing the unsubscribe request and they will need to re-attempt to unsubscribe later.

What happens if a person clicks the unsubscribe link that Marketo adds to email footers?

This depends on whether the unsubscribe link is being tracked or not. If the link is a tracked link, it will not connect to the destination URL. If the link is not being tracked, it will connect as expected.

The default behavior for unsubscribe links in the email footer is to be tracked. This tracking can be removed by customizing the HTML of the footer as detailed here. However, if the tracking is still in place, the link clicks will result in errors. This will be true for custom unsubscribe pages hosted outside of Marketo as well as those within Marketo.

If we use a non-Marketo unsubscribe page and the link is not tracked, will it connect?

Yes. However, you should watch for a secondary issue. In most use cases, customers will use the Marketo API to send that unsubscribe data back into Marketo to update the corresponding record as unsubscribed. If that API call is made during the maintenance downtime, the API call will fail and the unsubscribe request will not be logged. Customers should retry these calls after the maintenance window.

Will the unsubscribe link added by email providers function during the maintenance?

Most email providers will add an unsubscribe link to the top of email messages. When clicking on this link, this unsubscribe request goes through the email provider and doesn’t navigate to your unsubscribe page. The email provider then forwards that unsubscribe request (and any others received for the same email sender) to the email sender in a list. This is known as a list-unsubscribe.

If the email provider sends this list-unsubscribe request to Marketo during the maintenance downtime, it will not be able to connect and the unsubscribe request will not be recorded in your instance. Marketo has performed extensive research and testing on this functionality to identify ways to mitigate this risk.

List-unsubscribe retries: Most email providers will retry a list-unsubscribe request if the first attempt fails. This helps ensure that, even if the list-unsubscribe is unsuccessful during the maintenance window, it will be retried later.

Removal of list-unsubscribe feature: While the list-unsubscribe functionality is added by the email provider, Marketo can control whether or not that functionality is applied. By changing a back-end configuration, Marketo can prevent email providers from supplying their unsubscribe link. By removing this option, it forces people to use the unsubscribe link provided in the email footer. Since the unsubscribe link will take the person to an error page, they will know that there was a technical issue preventing a successful unsubscribe request and will know that they will need to re-attempt to unsubscribe later. This should prevent a situation where a person thinks they have unsubscribed but have not been recorded as so.

The list-unsubscribe feature was removed on April 2, 2019. This will remove the list-unsubscribe functionality from all emails sent after the configuration change is made. However, it is not possible to remove the feature from emails sent prior to the configuration change on April 2, 2019.

Through extensive testing and trend analysis, we have found that the likelihood of a person using the list-unsubscribe feature two or more weeks after the email is sent is extremely low (between 1.64% and 1.87%). What this means is that the chances of a person using this feature to unsubscribe but not actually being unsubscribed is very low. When combined with the fact that all major email providers retry list-unsubscribes if not successful on the first attempt, the risk of an unsubscribe request not processing successfully is very small.

The list-unsubscribe feature will be re-enabled after the maintenance has been completed.

If you have any questions, please contact Marketo Customer Support