A slew of University e-mail outages since September has prompted Information Technology Central Services to consider implementing a new plan to reduce the frequency of problems.
“I have asked some of my technical staff to put together some ideas to make e-mail more foolproof,” said Kitty Bridges, associate vice president of ITCS.
The plan will aim to reduce outages, how long an outage lasts and the time it takes for ITCS to recover from an outage.
Bridges said she should receive the initial information for the plan next month, and there will most likely be a number of options to choose from. From there, ITCS will consider budget options, she added.
“It may go to the provost, or we may take care of funding ourselves,” Bridges said.
Late last term, Bridges said an independent power consultant may be brought in to assess the situation to prevent power outages at the server facility in Arbor Lakes. ITCS is currently working with University Purchasing Services to bring in the same consultant used several years ago for a similar task to re-evaluate the facility. Power outages at the facility have caused a number of problems because they have the potential to take out anywhere from one to 22 of the University’s e-mail servers housed there.
The problems with e-mail include a number of isolated outages and two system-wide outages that occurred over the course of the last term.
“There have been more problems than usual for e-mail this year,” Bridges said.
She attributed the added difficulty to a major upgrade on the University e-mail program in August, but said the ITCS expects that the worst is already over.
The ITCS website keeps an updated log of problems and outages. To view the log, visit http://www.itd.umich.edu/outages.