Error: cannot connect to server

By The Beacon | March 23, 2011 9:00pm

By Rosemary Peters, Editor-in-Chief --

On March 9, around 9 p.m., the University of Portland's server experienced technical difficulties and was inaccessible for approximately three hours.

UP Systems Administrator Ming Qi was the technical support staffer on call that night. He received the phone call from Public Safety that the server was down.

"There were two servers with all the files on them," Qi said. "One server was having problems, and we had to move the files to a different server."

According to Qi, two servers are clustered together so that one is a backup for the other.

Paul Disbury, director of Information Technology, says that when the first server fails it is supposed to "fail over" to a secondary server, which is supposed to work in conjunction with the primary server to access the storage unit. None of this is supposed to be noticed by the user on the other end of the computer.

However, the access problem occurred when the first server failed over to the secondary drive.

Technical Support was aware of the server's age, and the department has been in the process of moving files over to a new enterprise class storage device called Netapp.

"My goal is to completely decommission the Left Hand (the current main storage unit) within a few weeks," Disbury said. "I want to keep the Left Hand as a sand box to play in."

In light of the recent accessibility issues, Disbury has sped up the estimated timeline for getting the new storage device up and running and to make sure all critical data is moved over to the new server.

Currently, Disbury's technical group is in the process of moving over the U drive, which is the drive for faculty and administration.

"We should have the U drive moved over after the end of the weekend," Disbury said.

The P drive, where all of the students' files are located, will be the next drive to migrate over to the new server. Completing this move should take about three weeks.