Maintenance could affect UO email delivery, other services

Email delivery to and from the University of Oregon could be affected by September work on UO's data center upgrade, which will extend to a range of critical infrastructure.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, starting at 8 a.m., Information Services staff plan to move a component of the university's email system to the new data center environment. That work could delay email delivery for up to 12 hours, until 8 p.m.

Specifically, email messages could be delayed between UOmail accounts and non-UOmail accounts inside and outside the university.

"We realize how critical email is to the university's day-to-day business," said Christy Long, associate chief information officer for technology infrastructure. "That's why we're completing this essential work before the start of fall term."

All UO students, staff and faculty members have email accounts on the UOmail system. Messages sent between any of those accounts should be unaffected. However, many departmental role accounts remain on the older Webmail system, as do retiree accounts.

Information Services will also move two other critical infrastructure components this month, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Thursday, Sept. 21. Each of those early-morning migrations has the potential to affect a range of UO technology services, from email to DuckDocs to UO websites.

"It's time to migrate some foundational technologies that many UO systems rely on," said Barry Peterson, director of core infrastructure. "The diversity of system usage is great enough that we can't list all the services that could be affected. However, our team has planned diligently to reduce potential impacts."

In particular, the Sept. 13 work could cause a variety of service outages, both during the day the work takes place and at other times in the surrounding days and weeks. The Sept. 21 work is expected to cause more minor disruptions, if any.

The data center upgrade project will continue into fall term, but future work should be less broadly disruptive.

"This is the homestretch," Long said. "After these next few big hurdles, we'll be close to the finish line."

Details about upcoming service outages are posted on the IT Service Status website. That's also where Information Services will post updates if maintenance schedules change, along with in-the-moment updates if the work runs long or causes unexpected problems.

Anyone with questions can contact the Technology Service Desk.

—By Nancy Novitski, University Communications