The NPmail server was inaccessible for over an hour due to a maintenance test on Sunday, Feb. 6.
According to Paul Chauvet, UNIX & Linux Systems administrator, these maintenance tests are not on a set schedule and happen no more than once or twice per year. He said the last outage was announced as taking up to three hours in case any problems were found, and “thankfully” there were no file system errors and no repair was needed.
CommuniGate Systems is the company that created NPmail and its mission is to “Unify all forms of communications into one, easy to install, manage and use platform. [The] products help businesses become more productive, efficient and competitive,” according to its website.
CommuniGate issues security updates which Chauvet then implements by shutting down the server when he said the least number of students are online.
“Just about the least number of students on [NPmail], at any given time, is late Sunday,” he said.
The maintenance test also checks for storage issues, security vulnerabilities or missing files. Chauvet said it’s rare that files would be missing, but he doesn’t want a repeat of the N-Drive problem from last semester, in which the personal storage system was lost for about a month.
Chauvet said he hasn’t gotten any complaints from those who couldn’t access the NPmail server. He said it’s one of the most reliable systems on campus.
Still, some students had a different outlook. Kate Brady, a fourth-year English major, said sometimes she has problems logging in. She said she also experienced problems with the amount of files she can upload and send.
“You have to delete the history or you can hardly send any files to yourself or anyone else,” she said.
Jaime Prisco, a fourth-year journalism major, said she has encountered problems with sending and receiving e-mail messages. She said her main concern is sending assignments to professors and receiving an error message in return.
According to Prisco, sometimes she would get an error message even if she didn’t send anything, so she would just forward her e-mails to a Gmail account instead.
“[These] technical problems are frustrating,” she said. “[They] don’t outline what it is, never sure of what’s wrong.”