Internet accounts will be down this weekend

Michelle Kibiger

Several Internet-related functions at the University will be unavailable to students and staff members this weekend because of computer service relocation.
Beginning Sunday, the University’s Office of Information Technology will move its Lauderdale Central Computer Services facility — currently located between the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses — to the Basis Data Center on the West Bank.
The relocation project is an effort to consolidate the services of three separate data centers — the Lauderdale facility, Shepherd Labs and the University Networking Services — into one West Bank facility.
As a result of the move, several services will be unavailable to University students and staff members from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday.
More than 60,000 students and staff members use the University e-mail system. But those users will not be able to access their e-mail because the gold and maroon e-mail servers will be inaccessible during the 12-hour period.
Any e-mail messages coming in to those users will be held in a system, and when the servers are up and running again, the messages will be sent to the proper accounts.
People who connect via computers at home and use slip systems that automatically link them to University accounts will be able to access e-mail, however. Although University home pages will be down Sunday, users will be able to view other Internet sites from their home computers.
The three-phase project of centralizing the computer services is scheduled to be completed Aug. 31, said project leader Pete Bartz.
Improving Internet services for consumers is one of the project’s key goals. Bartz said delivery of computer services will improve by consolidating all operations in one location.
“The consolidation allows (Central Computing Systems) to function as a single unit organizationally,” Bartz said. In the past, he said, adequate communication between the three outlets has been difficult. By combining computing services at one location, staff members can alleviate those problems.
The Lauderdale facility houses about 30 systems, including both e-mail services and several research systems.
Bartz said Central Computing chose the timeline so the move would have as little impact as possible on users.
He also said communication between computing services and the people they serve is very important for a smooth transition. For this phase, staff members posted a message that appeared after people logged onto an e-mail server.
Staff members will continue to post messages this way to notify people of future phases of the move.
Other phases, which involve moving research and instructional computing systems, will not affect as many users as the phase that will take place Sunday.