Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Upcoming Mail Improvements for MCS, ALCF, and CELS.

Hey, folks!

You’re getting this message because you have an account on our Zimbra server in a domain that we serve. Chances are pretty good you’ve got an address you use regularly (foo@mcs.anl.gov, bar@alcf.anl.gov, baz@anl.gov), and your “zimbra address” (foo@zimbra.mcs.anl.gov). You probably login using that or something like “foo-mcs@zimbra.anl.gov” using your Argonne domain credentials. It’s kind of address spaghetti.

We’re going to get this fixed, once and for all, and soon. But I want to make sure everyone understands the plan, and has a chance to raise any issues with it before we get too far down the road. I’ll do my best to be concise and accurate so it’s very clear what will happen. I’m leaving out behind-the-scenes steps that are part of the technical minutiae.

Step one: Create new userbase resources. When we’re done, there will be six mail-related resources from which new users can choose. MCS Mailbox, ALCF Mailbox, CELS Mailbox, MCS address-only, ALCF address-only, CELS address-only. The “Mailbox” resources mean you want a Zimbra account with a mailbox, calendar, etc. The “address-only” resources are for those who simply forward their mail to another site — this gives you the ability to have an @mcs.anl.gov address, even if you do forward all your mail off to Google or some other site. In each case, you can choose *one* (or none) from each division (ie, MCS Mailbox *or* MCS address-only, but not both). If it’s applicable and appropriate, you can choose to have mailboxes or addresses in each domain. We recommend having only one mailbox with aliases for the others, and can help you organize your mail accordingly, but if it makes you feel better to have multiple, we can handle that, too. Here’s the important bit for all of you — since you’re not new users, we will make a default choice for you, and inform you of it. See the next step.

Step two: Classify and notify users. MCS is by far the most populous of the domains we manage, so most people will fall into the category of “MCS Mailbox”. We will identify the outliers and select the right spot for them. If you feel we made the wrong default choice, you can let us know and we’ll fix it before we do anything. You can help us make this choice easier by making sure your “preferred address” is correct in userbase. Use @alcf.anl.gov if that’s what you think it should be, for example. If you forward all your mail offsite, put the address you forward to in your preferred address field. If you use @anl.gov as your preferred address, that’s fine. We’ll judge those on a case by case basis of knowing where you’re based, and ask otherwise.

(Remember, if you use @anl.gov, make sure it’s pointing where you think. You can check this at http://www.anl.gov/alias/.)

Step three: Move users. This will be transparent to you, except for a change in how you login. Instead of logging in as “foo-mcs@zimbra.anl.gov” with your Argonne password, you will login with your actual e-mail address and your MCS password. We will notify you the day before the move with a time that you can start using your new login credentials. We’ll also provide quick pointers on where you’ll need to update your password/login info (mail client, smartphone, tablet, etc.).

After the move is completed, you will have the option to get rid of or keep the “username-mcs@zimbra.anl.gov” alias.

After all moves are completed, we will disable the old “zimbra.mcs.anl.gov” domain, and set it up to autoreply with a message that the address has moved. Chances are good that nobody outside ANL has the “zimbra.mcs.anl.gov” address, but there will obviously be some that slipped through here and there. The autoreply will inform them of the new addresses.

Here’s a rough timeline, assuming there are no major hitches to this plan:

Now through April 9: Step one. (This is just setting up userbase for the new domains and writing scripts. Nothing is being moved at this point.)

April 11-13: Step two.

April 14: Cut over for new accounts. From this point forward, new accounts will use the new userbase resources and accounts will be created in the appropriate domain.

April 14 through April 23: Move users to new domains.

April 25 through April 30: Clean up edge cases. All moves complete.

May 1 onward: Everyone finally has a sane address.

There’ll be no interruption in service through any of this. Mail will be flowing the whole time.

Please let me know if you have any issues with this procedure, timeline, or if you just need to get the warm fuzzies about something.


Written by Craig Stacey

April 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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