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Where has all the [email protected] gone?

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Mar 04 2003 10:56

Communication failures are not just the remit of the union it seems, but it not helping there either

Mar 04 2003 11:07

And ICT want to take over DoC systems...

2. Eddie   
Mar 04 2003 11:13

I have just spoken to sen, regarding some interesting business coming to the next meeting of council (well, if you are into that sort of thing) it seems it will take a little while to get up there, because "We have to move some large files around" so now you know what email is for. Personally i find ftp quite useful for these things...

3. Dan L   
Mar 04 2003 11:21


You forgot to mention the EEE dept is also unaffected!

4. Chris   
Mar 04 2003 13:32

Erm click on departments above

5. Dan L   
Mar 04 2003 13:47

It appears due to someone playing with the webserver at lunchtime we have lost a few comments.

I replied to Ed who posted after me that I was stupid, and the 2 links looked like one...

6. Sam   
Mar 04 2003 14:13

Yeah that was me playing...

but it was 'tafa's ideas i was trying to implement.

in the end i rolled back the database to before i started playing.

Mar 04 2003 15:21

Both my personal and union addresses seem to be working again now...

this seems to be the case for most people across most depts, so i guess (?) that the problem's solved, at least to a limited degree.

Mar 04 2003 15:37

Ah well it means I had more time to complete my amazing bizness plan... HAHAHAHAH

Plus being part of EE and DoC means I am COMPLETELY UNNAFECTED. Who needs a department anyway?

Mar 04 2003 16:09

Also does this mean that the picture on the ic (sorry Imperial College) home page should be changed from "Connected".

Mar 04 2003 16:11

Most chemists were completely unaffected, only this year's intake (who were the first chemists to have exchange accounts) have suffered.

Mar 04 2003 23:33

Third Years too, so I presume 2nd and 4th years were as well :-(

12. email   
Mar 05 2003 09:53

i think it depends what server you're on, something that's a little more random than which year you're in.

13. Geek   
Mar 05 2003 17:39

That's what you get when you rely on Microsoft exchange server. What a load of s***!

Mar 05 2003 18:04


if you'd actually read the reasons for the downtime rather made a kneejerk anti-microsoft reaction, you would not have made that post.

The exchange servers did not fail, the storage area network which provides the disk space for said exchange servers failed. The SAN is not a MS product (it's made by Hewlett Packard) and is not specifically a Microsoft related product, you can just as well use it for linuxy type applications.

If the SAN died, taking down the mail spools and delivery locations, tat would have killed most mailservers... not just Outlook.

Also, i would like you to point me to a better product than Outlook for all the functions it fulfils. Remember it is an integrated email/calendar/tasklist/journal/notes server. There are very few non microsoft products which fulfil this function, and i doubt any of them would have performed better.

15. Dan L   
Mar 05 2003 20:47

Better geek,

What you say is very true, however I have no use for anything except basic e-mail services. I don't use the notes, calendar, tasklist etc..

This is true for quite a number of students, and so really it does appear as though having all the options Outlook gives is a bit of a waste.

Mar 05 2003 21:43


While you may not use them Dan, I and a lot of other people do use them. Are you saying we should all be limited by your inefficient use of resources? Or are you arguing that we should offer different levels of service? Say web-only email for people like you, graduating up to full outlook functionality (delegation, user privileges etc. etc.) for those smart enough to use them?

Mar 06 2003 11:53

I tend to agree with Dan L about Outlook. I realise that college has a site license for it, so cost is probably not an issue, but departments not relying on Exchange servers for email seem to cope fine with (for example) Eudora, Pegasus and Evolution.

ALthough this hardware failure is a fairly good argument against overcentralisation of email services though...

Mar 06 2003 12:39


it's an argument for less reliance on a single device (single point of failure)...

And i think you'll find college don't. Did anyone notice that half the mailservers were out... not all of them (my work email was unaffected) If the SAN had completely died, no doubt the extra users (minus their stored mail) could have been ported to the working half. (minimal functionality, but better than nothing!)

Centralisation is good, lack of redundancy is very bad.

Mar 06 2003 13:00

Maybe we should become like the backs and have a Disaster Recovery site. Then I could go and study at Wye (it being sunny today).

20. dwm   
Mar 06 2003 15:09

ICT do have plans to setup a set of redundant servers for storage and the like -- in the DoC machine room. However, at the moment they're only running with one SAN -- and that's the one that died, taking most people's data with it.

To be brutally honest, a critical systems failure like the one ICT have suffered is a very difficult thing to cope with, and they've done a decent job bringing everything back up and keeping people informed as to what's going on.

Regarding the ICT --> CSG takeover, that's looking unlikely at the moment -- based on what I've heard, the department heads consider the specialized services provided by CSG to be one of the primary reasons the deparment performs so well and are loath to disband it in favour of the proposed non-specialized service. Which seems fair to me.

disclaimer: I work for CSG occasionally. :)

Mar 06 2003 16:44

I have to say CSG in DoC are very good. = I get fast access, FREEE PRINTING, lots good computers that generally work and someone to complain to when it doesn't (who might actually do something about it). There are a few odd things but it would be a travesty if ICT took over CSG.

Maybe the other London uni's should work as recovery sites.

22. sam   
Mar 06 2003 17:29

Maybe we should:

takeover a failing UL college (UCL???) and use it as a hot spare...

23. sam   
Mar 06 2003 17:34


we're thinking of running redundant union webservers (no joke!) - maybe we should host the hotspare in the DoC machine room!

Mar 06 2003 19:25

ICT -> CSG takeover - the College Undergrad Review Committee (external people come in and review undergrad teaching for College) recommended against ICT running DoC systems. The student interview session for that review made our feelings on the subject quite clear.

25. dwm   
Mar 07 2003 14:14

Hi Sam,

Sure, we could probably host a machine or two for you. Drop us an email at with your requirements and we'll see what we can do..

Mar 07 2003 15:03

David, ignore Sam. He hasn't thought it through properly :-)

It's more of a 'warm standby used for development/testing' than a 'hot backup'

27. Sunil   
Mar 07 2003 17:46

With all due respect, student opinions would not have been the primary factor going for the recommendation.

Even within DoC, only probably half the departmental undergrad students actually care about who was running the systems. And the fact that a small, vociferous number of students really wants to keep the CSG in place there really matters far less than what the departmental staff think about the CSG.

[I'm not trying to malign the CSG by any means, far from it!]

28. dwm   
Mar 07 2003 20:47

Mustafa, Sam,

I'll let you decide amongst yourselves what you'd like to do. If you decide we might be of assistance, let us know..

Hi Zebedee,

Glad to hear we're doing most things right. :-) Let us know about any quirks that should get fixed; we're currently in the design stages for our next major desktop rollout this summer, so now would be a good time.

Hi Sunil,

Based on past experience, I think it's unfair to imply (possibly unwittingly) that the departmental administration don't listen to the views of their undergraduates -- I'm proud to say that the opposite tends to be true.

Although I agree that student feedback won't have been the primary reason for deciding to keep CSG, the feedback they *did* receive from the student body will have helped reinforce their position -- that a specialized service is necessary to support the specialized teaching requirements of the Department.

Mar 09 2003 23:11

As an interesting aside, if you look up "CCS" on foldoc, you get "Computer Conservation Society". No wonder they changed over to [bland] ICT :)

30. J01   
Mar 17 2003 21:00

Hmm..... ICEX 12 appears to be down.

31. alex C   
Mar 17 2003 22:02

As do 5 and 7, but by way of 4... most odd.

32. amram   
Mar 17 2003 23:25

ICEX 3 is down too.

Can someone explain to me what this means? why is the system not working? why can i not get into my h drive- any ideas ????

33. Sam   
Mar 17 2003 23:52


There seems to be some problem with web outlook, which does not affect direct access to the servers. I can access my usual mailbox on ICEX3 fine (although slow) via Outlook 2002

2) I have access to 5 exchange accounts, 1 on 3, 2 on 5 and 2 on 7. On every account, the web interface says "Cannot connect to ICEX12" or something like that. I don't have email on 12 - so i surmise that 12 is either the load balancer used by the web interface, or is somehow a server only related to the web service.

34. Sam   
Mar 17 2003 23:54

That said, none of my home directories are stored in ICT - has someone broken that SAN again?

That would explain why i can get my home directories, yet amram can't. And if icex3 is not on the SAN, but something related to the web service is, that explains why my email works, but not everyones.

Mar 19 2003 00:30


It wasn't just student opinions - the same message came from both the dept. and the student interview sessions. As the whole point of the Undergrad Review Committee is to review UNDERGRAD teaching, the opinions of the students on this matter was a primary concern - there's no point doing an undergrad review if you ignore the undergrads.

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