September 8, 2012; 8:00 PM
As previously reported, the MS Exchange email system, serving the University’s faculty, staff and administrators, had a serious problem beginning early morning Thursday (9/06). The likely root cause of this problem has been identified and isolated (see the blog post http://blogs.shu.edu/doit/2012/09/ms-exchange-the-cause-of-the-crash/ for details). All users now have access to their MS Exchange email.
Note that you may have to restart MS Outlook to force Outlook to reconnect to the server. You should also check your Out Box and release any email that you composed in Outlook but which Outlook was unable to send because the server was offline. If you are having difficulty connecting through MS Outlook, try WebMail (a.k.a., Outlook Web Access, or OWA; the link to WebMail/OWA is in the upper right hand corner of the SHU Web site and along the top navigation of PirateNet).
If you had access to your email box any time Thursday (9/6) or Friday (9/7) afternoon, then all your email has been recovered.
If access to your email was restored late Friday night or today (9/8), then IT Services is recovering your email from multiple sources, as described in a prior blog post (see http://blogs.shu.edu/doit/2012/09/update-regarding-access-to-the-microsoft-exchange-email-system/ for details). IT Services restored your email box from a backup taken early Wednesday morning. Email that was sent after the server crash early Thursday morning is in a pending queue that is being delivered now. Once this pending email is delivered, you will have all your email except that sent to you on Wednesday, 9/05. This email will be recovered from another source, the MS Exchange logs and journals, next week and merged in to your In Box. Since recovery from the MS Exchange logs and journals is labor intensive, it may take the better part of next week to complete this recovery process for all users.
I want to thank the University community for their patience and support during this difficult few days. I want to thank the IT Services team who spent long hours working to fix this problem; their effort, dedication and knowledge has been outstanding. And I want to thank the support teams from Microsoft and NetApp for their help during this time.
I want to remind everyone that, while everyone currently has access to the campus mail system, some significant challenges still remain. We’re running on a temporary server, so next week IT Services will be adding additional servers to the MS Exchange cluster to improve reliability and performance. Until then, we may experience additional intermittent email outages as IT Services continues to work on the system. IT Services will work next week to restore Wednesday’s email for those users who are missing it. And other cleanup tasks remain. I ask for the continued patience and support of the University community as we restore full email service to the campus.
Steve Landry, CIO