05 August 2003

Network outage

Explanation for the recent difficulties experienced with the Division’s NAS.

Sometime before 11am on Friday, 1 August 2003, the Division's Network Attached Storage device (dcenas) began to exhibit behaviour akin to that of sahara in some recent episodes where students, Corporate Services Division staff and Client Services Division staff were unable to access their profiles and home drives. Sahara is Client Services Division’s Network Attached Storage device and is similar to dcenas.

Examination of dcenas showed that the system was extremely busy doing something that can't be identified. All other requests to the system (for information about profiles, access to documents and so on) were being suspended or refused until it appeared that the server was not responding at all.

Because of their recent experience, Client Services Division were informed and three staff arrived to examine the problem. They were unable to determine the cause of the behaviour, so the server was restarted at around 12.30pm. It has been operating normally since then and full service was restored to the Division.

They gave us some clues as to what they have done, which seems to have stabilised sahara over the last couple of months. We will implement some of these suggested changes to the dcenas environment next week and continue to monitor the situation.