Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Posts Tagged ‘announcements

Mailing list and RT outage – UPDATE: Fixed

We’ve had a failure on the server that handles mailing lists and trouble tickets. We’re bringing RT back online via a backup machine ASAP, and are working on getting the mailing list data in sync so we can bring that back.Mail is not being lost, it’s just queueing up.Will post updates here as they happen.System is up, mail is flowing again.

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Written by Craig Stacey

December 22, 2010 at 12:07 am

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Power Outage, Dec 3-5.

Just a reminder that most systems are down due to a planned power outage in building 240. Things will return to normal on Sunday.

Written by Craig Stacey

December 5, 2010 at 2:41 am

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Mail/Zimbra Upgrade and Outage

On Saturday, October 30th, there will be a Zimbra outage in the morning while the service is upgraded to the newest version. This upgrade will fix a number of bugs and introduce a number of new features — we’re very excited about this upgrade.Originally, this upgrade was slated to happen during the power outage work on that weekend, but since the power outage has been pushed to December, we’re still moving forward with the upgrade.Expect the service to go down in the morning and stay down until early evening. No mail will be lost, only delayed. We’ll post updates as we have them.

Written by Craig Stacey

October 26, 2010 at 3:25 am

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Zimbra Update

Mike Rios has been working tirelessly on this issue from the start, loosing sleep and I suspect some wits, (kidding).  Thanks Mike for all your work!He has just sent out an note on the current state of afairs vis a vis Zimbra, along with a link to a page that they will be using to post updates:all.We are still experiencing an issue with our Zimbra mail system.  At present,Zimbra runs normally for a short while, then response time to the users willbegin to degrade after about 15-30 minutes until the system is virtuallyunusable.  Mail delivery is still happening; the front-end is the only thingbeing impacted by this issue.We have taken to restarting the module that is responsible for the user responseand mail interface every 15 minutes, at :00, :15, :30, and :45 on the clock.The restart process takes about 90 seconds, during which time reading andsending mail, along with the Zimbra web interface, will be affected.  Thisstrategy has allowed us to “limp” along while we work with Zimbra in finding asolution for the problem we have.Zimbra engineers are working with us, examining our log files and going throughtheir code.  There is at present no estimated time to repair for this issue.Zimbra understands that this is a critical issue for us, and has a number ofpeople working this issue and keeping us informed of their progress.  Whatinformation we receive will be communicated on this list.  In addition, we willbe keeping a wiki page up-to-date with information as we have it:https://wiki.inside.anl.gov/inside/Zimbra/Current_IssuesIf there are any questions regarding this outage or any other issues related tothis outage, please don’t hesitate to direct them to this list or any of theArgonne people involved.Thank you for your support and patience!mike rios.

Written by Craig Stacey

October 15, 2010 at 4:14 am

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Zimbra Outage Saturday, July 17

CIS will be performing an update to the Zimbra service on Saturday between 9AM and 5PM on Saturday, July 17. During this window, you will not be able to receive new mail, send mail through Zimbra, or check for mail on the server. Also, Calendars will not be available during this window.Any mail sent during this window will cue up and be delivered once the server is back online. We do not expect any loss of mail or bounced mail.This upgrade is migrating the server from a 32-bit version to the 64-bit version, which will allow us to enhance performance. Also, the 32-bit versions will be end-of-life soon, and will no longer receive support.In August, we are planning to upgrade the server from Zimbra 5.0.23 to Zimbra 6.x. We expect this to fix a number of bugs, so that’s something to look forward to.Sorry for any inconvenience.

Written by Craig Stacey

July 15, 2010 at 2:34 am

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Social Networking Safety

Let me tell a couple of true stories of how social networking can be used to cause you and your friends harm.The first happened to a friend of mine. He’s sitting on his computer, browsing facebook, and he gets a chat request from a friend. This friend claimed to be in London, and needed money desperately as he had been robbed. My friend was smart enough to recognize this might not be legit, and started asking questions. Of course, because this guy had access to all the data in facebook, he could be fairly convincing in his answers (minus, of course, the lag time in looking up the information). As you may guess, my friend did not wire any money. Turns out this is a scam that’s getting more and more common.The second story happened to an acquaintance of this same friend. However, in her case, it was her account that was compromised. A Yahoo mail account, which was used to send mail to her friends asking for money. We don’t quite know how successful this one was. We do know the malicious user deleted all her e-mails from her account.Neither of these incidents happened at Argonne, just so you know.I tell you these stories to remind you that you need to be on your toes. In this day and age of social networking and information sharing, we’re putting a lot of information out there than can be used against us in many ways. I was startled when I visited pipl.com and searched for myself — all this information is out there, scraped off of webpages, social networking sites, Usenet… you name it. Someone armed with that information might be able to pull off a convincing job of pretending to be me. Convincing enough to scam someone else out of money or information they shouldn’t have.So be careful what you put out there. Keep your passwords strong, lengthy, diverse, and private. Don’t reuse them.Here’s a couple of links that were passed on to me today from ANL’s Cyber Security Program Office. The first is available on-site only, and is written by Mike Skwarek, the Cyber Security Program Manager and Deputy CIO for the lab. I recommend reading then, as there’s good advice in there.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

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Mail Outage, 1/23/10, 9 AM – 2 PM.

Hey, folks.Just a friendly reminder that we’ll be upgrading the Zimbra mail and calendar server on Saturday. Your inbox, calendar, and webmail will not be accessible between 9AM and 2PM. No mail will be lost, only delayed during the outage window.This upgrade will address some locked mailbox issues we’ve seen sporadically, as well as allow Android Exchange e-mail syncing to work correctly.Thanks!

Written by Craig Stacey

January 23, 2010 at 7:17 am

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MCS Systems User Satisfaction Survey

Hey, gang.Communication is an important thing. Without it, we’d all just be a bunch of meat sticks making random noises and gestures at each other. A part of communication that’s important to any service organization is feedback. Sometimes, that feedback is immediate and candid, sometimes it’s given given after the fact, and sometimes it’s solicited. While the focus of this post is on soliciting feedback, I really do hope everyone knows you do not need to wait for some survey or visit to offer input and ideas. We’re your Systems Group. When my door is open, which is generally the case, I’m an available set of ears. If you’ve got ideas for improvements, if you’ve got praise for someone, if you’ve got a complaint about someone, or you just want to talk about what we’re doing, I’m always willing and happy to talk. So, please, consider the lines of communication always open. I was going to make some joke about TCP ports and stateful connections, but that’s a sad kind of geeky.Anyway, it’s a new calendar year, we’re in our new building, and John Tesh hasn’t turned into a giant lizard and started terrorizing Tokyo, so it seems a good time to solicit some feedback. Over the coming months, I’m going to be visiting with many of you looking for your opinions and ideas, but I’d like to get a general sense of things, too. Many years back, we did a user satisfaction survey with the division. It proved to be useful information to have, so I’d like to do it again.At your leisure, please visit the survey (hosted at surveymonkey.com): http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6CWNRWJ. It’s just 10 questions, and the survey is open until COB on Friday, January 29. Your answers are as anonymous as you want them to be – no IP addresses are collected, and no identifying information is asked. Unfiltered feedback is what I want.It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these things, and it’s something we should do more often. At least annually, I think. In any case, I’ll talk about the results in February.Thanks!

Written by Craig Stacey

January 16, 2010 at 1:43 am

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Pictures from the Datacenter move

Pics taken by Max.All in all, it took a little less than 11 hours. Everything went generally smoothly. It bodes very well for the move in two weeks!

Written by Craig Stacey

October 6, 2009 at 1:13 am

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Datacenter Move, Episode I, The Phantom Menace

Okay, folks, this is it. A little over two weeks ago, we moved a bunch of people into the spiffy new building. And this Friday, we begin the process of moving our computers over from the BMR to the Core (which is now what we’re calling the SSF).Are we nervous?Yes. Yes, we are. How could we not be? You know the old curse; May you live in interesting times. Well, this is a pretty interesting time.But we’re also confident. All of our plans, our timelines, our probable outcomes are unraveling, intertwining, recombining, and falling generally into place. By Saturday evening, we should have a pretty solid idea of exactly how well we did on the whole ordeal, and how the second and larger part of the move will go.As a reminder, the sysadmin of the particular system will send out a more detailed notice, but here’s the big picture of what’s moving:

  • Remaining TeraGrid infrastructure
  • NMPDR and IGSB infrastructure
  • The Cosmea compute cluster
  • LCRC PVFS fileservers

We’ll also be moving the bulk of our storage and parts. But that’s just our pain, not yours.In each of the above cases, the resource in question will go down on the Friday before the move (at some point in the day, depending on the resource), and get prepped for move. First thing Saturday morning, the movers will move the equipment into the Core, at which point we’ll start hooking things back up and have things operational as soon as possible.This is going to be an experience!

Written by Craig Stacey

September 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm

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