There have been many questions asked about the missing information on the email servers and what is being done about it. Here is a summary of the situation.
The power event that occurred on Monday morning, December 30th, caused a catastrophic data center event in the main server room. The outage caused damage to several pieces of equipment which led to a multi-system failure. From the moment that power was restored, the IT systems team has been working around the clock in order to restore services to the university as quickly as possible. Due to the extent of the system damage, we have had to restore many things from backups; a process which takes considerably longer than simply rebooting systems that have lost power.
In regard to email, the equipment damage directly affected the data storage for the email servers that store all of the email/calendars/etc. for our users. The situation was assessed and a plan to move forward was made in conjunction with the executive team. The first priority was to restore the services so that the university can continue to function and this was done by creating new mailboxes for every user so that email could be sent and received. The IT team is pursuing available options regarding the restoration of the email server data, however the probability that a full or even partial recovery will succeed is very small. With recovery in question, we are asking users to save anything that they may have cached locally so that their loss is as minimal as possible.
The local cache is one of the reasons that the university has provided and recommended the use of Outlook for many years and we continue to recommend that route. Using a locally cached program, such as Outlook, provides several conveniences to the user and also provides one extra level of storage during an event such as this one.
Please be assured that the IT systems team has been continually improving our systems redundancy and replication plans for several years and will be performing another full assessment of the situation with regard to recent events. Any proposed changes resulting from that evaluation will be submitted to the executive team for review.
Once again, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the process of restoring the university’s systems.