Author Archive: Phillip Bohl

SOL Server Room — a New Home in an OLD spot

So you may have notices some changes at the School of Law since finals last December.

One of those changes you are not likely to notice right away is the fact that the School of Law’s server room is in brand new digs — but pretty much in the same place — just a different door location.

It’s true, a long overdue update and remodel of the server space came about due to a project to improve service to our Clinical Law Program clients. Using existing space, a new suite of office space was created for the Clinical Law Program. This construction project took place right in the same block of space where the server room had been since 1998. As it happens, the space allocated to the server room was a bit more than was absolutely necessary for the School of Law servers so that room was scaled down with the excess space going to the Clinical Law Program. In the end, the server room is a great new space with the necessary power, data, security, and cooling.

As you can imagine, moving all the servers and racks for a server room out and then back in can be a crazy proposition, especially if you want to continue to provide those services from a temporary location. Thanks to our friends in Campus and Construction Planning, University IT, and our own great team in Information Services, we were able to coordinate the move out of the old space with great success. As I write this, we are in the process of coordinating the move back into the new space.

A move entails more than just turning off computers and unplugging. In addition to providing notice to customers, each system must have each of its myriad processes shut down in an orderly fashion. The network connections in the racks go through a managed switch that is connected directly to the campus network backbone via fiber. The connection and disconnection of the fiber must be coordinated with University IT’s Network Engineering group. We also have to have the fiber itself relocated from the temporary location to the new room — a fairly simple process on its face but something that requires expertise (and insurance), if only in the event of problems.

For these reasons, this kind of move is best done during off-hours for customers but on-hours for vendors, IT staff, and Information Services staff. As it happens, we have very few customers this week and should we get approval from the LA County Building Inspector this afternoon, we’ll move as soon as possible to take advantage of this window of opportunity.

Our initial plan was based upon projected construction scheduling that said we couldn’t get into the new room until Sunday January 8th. We would have to install ASAP to be prepared for classes and customers on Monday January 9th. Coordinating an installation on a Sunday is problematic owing to the number of groups involved — we had it scheduled but for something like this, should a problem occur the ability to solve it in the time allotted and on a Sunday makes some folks anxious (me).

Thanks for your patience and understanding in this process.

Happy New Year!

Blackberry Smart Phones and Pepperdine

Google Announces Gmail on Blackberry No More (Nov 22)

http://googleappsupdates.blogspot.com/2011/11/deprecation-of-gmail-app-for-blackberry.html
 
Please take note of this change in considering your smart phone purchases and mobile contract commitments. This change effects faculty, staff and students.
 
For some time now, our support for Blackberry devices at Pepperdine has been complicated by changes to that platform and Microsoft’s Exchange email system. With the recent well-publicized system instabilities in the Blackberry network services, it is prudent to recommend users look to other platforms: Apple’s iPhone, the various Android phones, or Microsoft’s Windows mobile platform for working with University systems.
 
This change by Google removes one of the primary work around’s with users attempting to conveniently receive University email on their mobile device.
 
Feel free to contact David Dickens, x4047 david.dickens@pepperdine.edu for how this change could effect your device and service and for consultation on new purchases so that we can continue to provide you with the best mobile device services in the future.