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Email Outage Update

Sunday 8th Feb 09:30am

All the integrity checks are complete and all the exchange servers with the exception of Staff Exchange 5 are running. The restore failed to staffexchange 5 so the restore has been made to a recovery group of Exchange 4 and this is now being copied to Exchnage 5 but will take at least 4 hours. Restoring to the recovery group shows there is nothing wrong with the back-up (thanks goodness).

Update - Friday 6th Feb 9:40am

Staff Exchange 3,4,6 and Student Email all working

Restores continue to 2 and 5 and are unlikely to finish until the weekend. 

The University has 7 Email servers interconnected to an EMC storage area network to hold all the messages, contacts, tasks etc. The EMC storage area network (SAN) is supposed to be high availability with dual power supplies, dual controllers, dual disks etc. However yesterday morning the SAN failed in manner that the Email servers could no longer access their databases of messages.

DELL ( the maintenance company for the SAN ) were contacted immediately and they worked on the problem, the problem was then escalated to EMC and at 18:00 last the SAN came back online.

Unfortunately the databases for some of the email servers were corrupt so a repair process was initiated which takes all night. This repair process is still running on one of the servers but failed on two. These two now have to restored from the back-ups and this is running at the moment. Full back-ups are taken every Wednesday and incrementals every night - the full back-up will be restored, followed by each of the incrementals and then a set of log files applied to ensure that no data is lost. Approximately 1 terabyte of data will have to be restored and this will take most of today and tonight. [check your server name]

Any incoming messages are queued and will be delivered when the servers become available.

In summary then:

  • Student Email servers - repaired and available
  • Staff Exchange 4 & 6 - repaired and available
  • Staff Exchange 3 - repair still running
  • Staff Exchange 2 and 5 - repair failed when being restored from tape will take the whole day.

A full report on what failed on the SAN to cause such a catastrophic effect on service will be prepared by EMC.

Update - Friday 6th Feb 9:40am

I apologise for this serious loss in service. 

Gordon Young
Director, ITD 

Long Bar 

Check your email server
>>Start | Settings | Control Panel
>> Double click on Mail icon
>> Click Email Accounts (click Next if a wizard appears)
>> Double click on Microsoft Exchange Server to show which server your mail is operating from



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