Central file storage for students and some staff is managed through the Client Services Division on a Network Attached Storage device known as Sahara. Sahara has been unreliable over the past month, leading to a number of outages, disruptions to work and some loss of data. Some students in the Division, particularly postgraduate students, have been affected by lack of access to their files. There have been no reports of any lost data in the Division through the difficulties with Sahara, although the impact on postgraduate students being unable to access their files has been significant.
This is a significant issue for the University in a number of ways, especially in relation to "selling" the idea of the efficacy of central file storage and access (as opposed to individuals being responsible for their own data on local hard drives and using portable storage for backup, archiving and file transfer).
The Division's NAS, dcenas, is of the same type as Sahara, and there is concern that we are vulnerable to similar issues with our device. The TSU is monitoring CSD’s progress with Sahara, and we have been promised by CSD Associate Director, Bob Thompson, that the Division will be given a formal debrief on the situation with Sahara once it is finally resolved.