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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Communication Blackout

Sometimes I just want to scream!

A few weeks ago the unix mail server at university crumbled under a severe load. E-mail could be and was delayed for many hours, both coming and going.

Part of the problem was a new bulk mail feature was introduced for communicating with the students. However the system could not deal with the sudden massive increase in traffic. Folk at computing support were as helpful as they could be - at first it seemed I was an isolated case but I suspect now I was just the first to notice the problem because of the ongoing nature of email conversations.

This was apparently fixed (or 'stabilised') and now they request for no bulk mailing in the peak period of 11-5. Unfortunately this seems to have completely failed to address the problem because I am getting email several hours after them being sent. It is highly frustrating - in most cases I am checking my mail late at night when the system has caught up with the day's traffic. It seems the fix for this is going to be new hardware which will be ready to be installed in April (around the 10th I believe).

Hardly the best situation to be in when dealing with an ever evolving crisis in funding!

Can't be good for the students either.


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