Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

MCS Website fixed

In working with the ANL web team, we were finally able to locate the issue and correct it yesterday afternoon by around 5:20. A change made globally to http://www.anl.gov (which is where the main MCS website is hosted) to bring mobile support to the website and make some font changes had unexpected behavior on how our website was rendered. We’re still not sure exactly why the issue presented the way it did, but it was some interaction between the main website and our proxy running at http://www.mcs.anl.gov that caused an issue in rendering. The problem was not present on the testing website, which is why they didn’t believe there was an issue pushing out the update.

We’ll be meeting with the team in January to make sure further rollouts don’t hit us this way, as well as go over the plan for updating our proxy configuration.

Written by Craig Stacey

December 16, 2015 at 8:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

MCS Website not displaying properly

Changes within the ANL webserver content seems to have broken the MCS website (hosted on their server). We’ve alerted CIS to the issue and are awaiting word on what happened and how to bring things back quickly.

Written by Craig Stacey

December 15, 2015 at 10:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

FYI: Users may get an SSH host key warning when logging into login.mcs.anl.gov. This is expected as the key has been recently updated.

Written by Craig Stacey

December 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

File server outage

This morning’s power work unexpectedly took out one of our file servers (for reasons we have yet to understand). We’re in the process of bringing it back. This affects most home directories for Unix.

Written by Craig Stacey

December 7, 2015 at 9:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CIS Maintenance Weekend December 4th-6th, 2015

Please see the below announcement from CIS. There will be no impact on CELS systems.


Argonne’s quarterly IT maintenance weekend is scheduled for Friday, Dec 4th, thru Sunday, Dec 6th.

We are patching and upgrading our major application databases (Oracle, SQL, and MySQL) during the maintenance weekend. In addition, maintenance to systems not affected by the database work will also be performed.

Services Impacted: (> 4 hour maintenance length)

· All business systems and web applications will be unavailable throughout the duration of the maintenance weekend.

· Sharepoint site access (Dec 4th 5pm- Dec 5th 9am)

Services Impacted: (.5 to 4 hour maintenance length)

· Voicemail (Dec 4th 5pm- 7pm)

Services Impacted: ( <.5 hour maintenance)

· Paging

Services NOT Affected:

· Networking


· Wireless

· Email Services


CIS recognizes that the reliability and performance of Laboratory Information Technology resources is essential to our ability to carry out our scientific mission. Like the rest of our laboratory infrastructure, these systems require periodic maintenance, replacement and upgrades.


December 4th, 2015, 5:00 p.m. thru December 6th, 2015, ~5:00 p.m.

· We expect Sharepoint Services to be restored by 9am on December 5th. An “all clear” will be sent to Sharepoint Site Owners after verification is complete.

· We expect verifications to be complete by Sunday at 5p.m. and an “all clear” message will then be sent.

Reporting issues (after maintenance weekend):

· Use the “Request Help” button thru the Argonne Service Desk interface https://help.anl.gov (tickets will be addressed by the Service Desk at the start of business (7:30am) on Monday, Dec 7th.

· Contact the Argonne Service Desk by phone at the start of business (7:30am) on Monday, Dec 7th.

Written by Craig Stacey

November 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Systems Announce Some Mail Users Having Issues

This has just been received from CIS:

Email service should be restored to those whom were affected by the downed database. Search functionality will be restored hopefully by tomorrow morning once all the background processes have completed.

Should you have any further issues with your mail, please send mail to help@anl.gov.

From: <cels-systems-announce-bounces> on behalf of Tina Piersanti <tstanton>
Date: Monday, November 23, 2015 at 2:27 PM
To: CELS ANNOUNCE <cels-systems-announce>
Subject: [Systems Announce] Some Mail Users Having Issues

CIS has confirmed that they are having issues with a mail server. Only some Users seem to be affected by this issue.

More to come as we receive updates.

Written by Craig Stacey

November 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Some Mail Users Having Issues

CIS has confirmed that they are having issues with a mail server. Only some Users seem to be affected by this issue.

More to come as we receive updates.

Written by Craig Stacey

November 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Project fileserver outage

As you may have noticed, we’ve been having issues with the fileserver that hosts a number of project directories. We’re working on migrating the data to a new fileserver, as our attempts to get the old one stable have not been fruitful. We’re compiling the list of affected filesystems, but the short term answer is if the pathname has “proj-“ in it, it’s probably affected. Due to the amount of data we do not expect this to be back until tomorrow at this point. I’ll send updates as we have them.

Sorry for the trouble, and stand by for more info.

Written by Craig Stacey

November 3, 2015 at 11:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CELS Help Desk hours changed

Hi, folks.

Due to some staffing changes that have left us temporarily short-staffed, we need to reduce the in-person hours for help desk coverage at the CELS Help Desk. Until further notice, in-person Help Desk hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM, and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

We’ll still be monitoring for trouble tickets outside those hours, however nobody will be sitting at the help desk. As always, send your issues to help@cels.anl.gov (or systems@mcs.anl.gov) to create a ticket.

(As a side note, due to illness the HD won’t be staffed at all today, November 2. If you can’t send e-mail, you can see who’s available in their office of me, Max, Ti, or John Roberts.)


Written by Craig Stacey

November 2, 2015 at 9:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Systems Announce Exchange Server Issues Remain

The Exchange interruption should be corrected and mail should be accessible again. If it isn’t please restart your mail client or call the CIS service desk at 2-9999 Option 2.

Written by Craig Stacey

October 27, 2015 at 10:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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