[Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

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[Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

jon kuroda-2
"Thanks", Facebook, for reminding me of this saga that I had nearly
and mercifully forgotten about.

http://ucbsystems.org/2011/11/25/unscheduled-outage-calmail-authentication-problem/
https://twitter.com/UCBCalMail

For those who weren't around Campus during the pre-bConnected days,
the then-Campus email service, CalMail, suffered what ought to have
been a relatively minor hardware failure over the 2011 Thanksgiving
weekend.

It turned into 1-2 weeks of hard-downtime without e-mail access and
over a month before the return of full service.  IST pulled in many
resources from across campus and beyond to work on this.

Later in December, Campus announced that it had selected Google for
its email/calendaring/collaboration service provider; the selection
process for that had been in progress since before the downtime.

The outages of CalMail were few, but significant - I feel like what
outages we have with bMail may be more frequent, but far smaller on
an individual basis and thus less impactful.

I was on the East Coast at the time, taking some personal time over
in NYC before, ironically, attending USENIX LISA, the yearly USENIX
system administration conference in Boston [0], but back here, many
on campus were suffering the lack of email, the edicts from on high
not to use off-campus e-mail services like personal gmeil accounts,
and the out-of-band (thankfully, EECS had its XMPP/Jabber IM system
that was interoperable at the time with people on GChat, so many of
us communicated via that and other channels - that interoperability
went away with the Googlification of Campus)

Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011? How did you
cope with the lack of e-mail?

--Jon
[0] Yeah, here I am, one of the only people from UC Berkeley at the
biggest sysadmin conference, and UC Berkeley e-mail is down.  Yeah,
that wasn't embarrassing, though I did get a good joke when someone
I knew who had done some consulting for CalMail asked, "What's up?"
I could only respond, "Not CalMail."

 
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Isaac Orr
On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:18 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> "Thanks", Facebook, for reminding me of this saga that I had nearly
> and mercifully forgotten about.
>
> http://ucbsystems.org/2011/11/25/unscheduled-outage-calmail-authentication-problem/
> https://twitter.com/UCBCalMail

I'm so glad you reminded us.

>
> Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011? How did you
> cope with the lack of e-mail?
>

In conference rooms, on conference calls, on the CalMail IRC channel
we set up.  Mostly, this was around the periphery, in support of Rune
Stromsness, who worked for Networking at the time, but had significant
systems experience, and did a huge amount of the work involved in
restoring CalMail to service.

I coped with lack of calmail by pushing everything over to the email
server that the networking group runs internally.

My favorite memory is sitting in a conference room with all the folks
working on resolving the problems, at an early time when we were still
trying to fully understand what needed to be done.  Eric Allman was
present!  At one point, when everyone was talking across each other,
Karen Kato stepped in to restore order in her typically calm and
measured manner.  Eric looked across the table at her and said "Oh,
now I know what your role is.  You're the mom!"

iso



--
Isaac Simon Orr
Manager, Network Operations and Services
IST Telecommunications, UC Berkeley
P: +1 510 643 9837 C: +1 510 517 9408 E: [hidden email]

 
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Bernie Rossi
In reply to this post by jon kuroda-2
Umm, in the middle of it?  :)

We spent hours each day on the IRC channel, everyone working towards getting the system back up and running.  Many many hours spent in the "War Room",

So, no one remembers when we were UCLink and went down for about a week?  

Ah, those were the days…..

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:18 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]> wrote:
"Thanks", Facebook, for reminding me of this saga that I had nearly
and mercifully forgotten about.

http://ucbsystems.org/2011/11/25/unscheduled-outage-calmail-authentication-problem/
https://twitter.com/UCBCalMail

For those who weren't around Campus during the pre-bConnected days,
the then-Campus email service, CalMail, suffered what ought to have
been a relatively minor hardware failure over the 2011 Thanksgiving
weekend.

It turned into 1-2 weeks of hard-downtime without e-mail access and
over a month before the return of full service.  IST pulled in many
resources from across campus and beyond to work on this.

Later in December, Campus announced that it had selected Google for
its email/calendaring/collaboration service provider; the selection
process for that had been in progress since before the downtime.

The outages of CalMail were few, but significant - I feel like what
outages we have with bMail may be more frequent, but far smaller on
an individual basis and thus less impactful.

I was on the East Coast at the time, taking some personal time over
in NYC before, ironically, attending USENIX LISA, the yearly USENIX
system administration conference in Boston [0], but back here, many
on campus were suffering the lack of email, the edicts from on high
not to use off-campus e-mail services like personal gmeil accounts,
and the out-of-band (thankfully, EECS had its XMPP/Jabber IM system
that was interoperable at the time with people on GChat, so many of
us communicated via that and other channels - that interoperability
went away with the Googlification of Campus)

Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011? How did you
cope with the lack of e-mail?

--Jon
[0] Yeah, here I am, one of the only people from UC Berkeley at the
biggest sysadmin conference, and UC Berkeley e-mail is down.  Yeah,
that wasn't embarrassing, though I did get a good joke when someone
I knew who had done some consulting for CalMail asked, "What's up?"
I could only respond, "Not CalMail."


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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Graham Patterson
On 11/25/15 12:59 PM, Bernie ROSSI wrote:

> So, no one remembers when we were UCLink and went down for about a week?  

Oh, I remember... At that time the department I was with was on a
private mail server. Easy to talk to the world, but impossible to reach
people in another department 8-)

Graham

--
Graham Patterson, Systems Administrator
Rm 111, Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley   510-643-1984
"...past the iguana, the tyrannosaurus, the mastodon, the mathematical
puzzles, and the meteorite..." - used to be the directions to my office.

 
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Philip Weekly
In reply to this post by Bernie Rossi

IRC,  yea that brings back some memories…  Way back when the eskimo servers were the place to hang out (1989-93)

 

 

Anybody else on here remember fighting for mod control when net-splits would occur?

A net split would occur so you go create a new room with the same name as the one you wanted to control (#somechannel) and then start your bots and when the split would rejoin your server to the other IRC servers you would retain your mod status and mod’s would start kicking and banning each other for control.

 

Those were fun times! Some of the first and finest Internet wars I’ve experienced.

 

Best,

 

Philip

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Bernie ROSSI
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 12:59 PM
To: jon kuroda
Cc: Micronet-UCB microcomputer support user group
Subject: Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

 

Umm, in the middle of it?  :)

 

We spent hours each day on the IRC channel, everyone working towards getting the system back up and running.  Many many hours spent in the "War Room",

 

So, no one remembers when we were UCLink and went down for about a week?  

 

Ah, those were the days…..

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:18 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]> wrote:

"Thanks", Facebook, for reminding me of this saga that I had nearly
and mercifully forgotten about.

http://ucbsystems.org/2011/11/25/unscheduled-outage-calmail-authentication-problem/
https://twitter.com/UCBCalMail

For those who weren't around Campus during the pre-bConnected days,
the then-Campus email service, CalMail, suffered what ought to have
been a relatively minor hardware failure over the 2011 Thanksgiving
weekend.

It turned into 1-2 weeks of hard-downtime without e-mail access and
over a month before the return of full service.  IST pulled in many
resources from across campus and beyond to work on this.

Later in December, Campus announced that it had selected Google for
its email/calendaring/collaboration service provider; the selection
process for that had been in progress since before the downtime.

The outages of CalMail were few, but significant - I feel like what
outages we have with bMail may be more frequent, but far smaller on
an individual basis and thus less impactful.

I was on the East Coast at the time, taking some personal time over
in NYC before, ironically, attending USENIX LISA, the yearly USENIX
system administration conference in Boston [0], but back here, many
on campus were suffering the lack of email, the edicts from on high
not to use off-campus e-mail services like personal gmeil accounts,
and the out-of-band (thankfully, EECS had its XMPP/Jabber IM system
that was interoperable at the time with people on GChat, so many of
us communicated via that and other channels - that interoperability
went away with the Googlification of Campus)

Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011? How did you
cope with the lack of e-mail?

--Jon
[0] Yeah, here I am, one of the only people from UC Berkeley at the
biggest sysadmin conference, and UC Berkeley e-mail is down.  Yeah,
that wasn't embarrassing, though I did get a good joke when someone
I knew who had done some consulting for CalMail asked, "What's up?"
I could only respond, "Not CalMail."


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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

jon kuroda-2
In reply to this post by Bernie Rossi
On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:59:20PM -0800, Bernie ROSSI wrote:
> Umm, in the middle of it?  :)
>
> We spent hours each day on the IRC channel, everyone working towards
> getting the system back up and running.  Many many hours spent in the "War
> Room",
>
> So, no one remembers when we were UCLink and went down for about a week?

I can neither confirm nor deny the actual identity of Lirpa Sloof or on
any matters related to UnLink or UnLink 2000 posts made circa 1995.

> Ah, those were the days…..

Yes, I remember many clever students obtaining shell access to what was
an otherwise underutilized 3-CPU DEC Alpha POP server called uclink4 by
uploading a .forward which popped open an xterm on the students display
so that they could get a real shell.

Those were the days.

> Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
>
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:18 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > "Thanks", Facebook, for reminding me of this saga that I had nearly
> > and mercifully forgotten about.
> >
> >
> > http://ucbsystems.org/2011/11/25/unscheduled-outage-calmail-authentication-problem/
> > https://twitter.com/UCBCalMail
> >
> > For those who weren't around Campus during the pre-bConnected days,
> > the then-Campus email service, CalMail, suffered what ought to have
> > been a relatively minor hardware failure over the 2011 Thanksgiving
> > weekend.
> >
> > It turned into 1-2 weeks of hard-downtime without e-mail access and
> > over a month before the return of full service.  IST pulled in many
> > resources from across campus and beyond to work on this.
> >
> > Later in December, Campus announced that it had selected Google for
> > its email/calendaring/collaboration service provider; the selection
> > process for that had been in progress since before the downtime.
> >
> > The outages of CalMail were few, but significant - I feel like what
> > outages we have with bMail may be more frequent, but far smaller on
> > an individual basis and thus less impactful.
> >
> > I was on the East Coast at the time, taking some personal time over
> > in NYC before, ironically, attending USENIX LISA, the yearly USENIX
> > system administration conference in Boston [0], but back here, many
> > on campus were suffering the lack of email, the edicts from on high
> > not to use off-campus e-mail services like personal gmeil accounts,
> > and the out-of-band (thankfully, EECS had its XMPP/Jabber IM system
> > that was interoperable at the time with people on GChat, so many of
> > us communicated via that and other channels - that interoperability
> > went away with the Googlification of Campus)
> >
> > Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011? How did you
> > cope with the lack of e-mail?
> >
> > --Jon
> > [0] Yeah, here I am, one of the only people from UC Berkeley at the
> > biggest sysadmin conference, and UC Berkeley e-mail is down.  Yeah,
> > that wasn't embarrassing, though I did get a good joke when someone
> > I knew who had done some consulting for CalMail asked, "What's up?"
> > I could only respond, "Not CalMail."
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
> >
> > To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe
> > from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please
> > visit the Micronet Web site:
> >
> > http://micronet.berkeley.edu
> >
> > Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and
> > the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This
> > means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses,
> > prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
> >
> > ANNOUNCEMENTS: To send announcements to the Micronet list, please use the
> > [hidden email] list.
> >

 
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Bernie Rossi
They found UCLink4 in a closet in the basement of Evans Hall a few years ago.  Gave me a picture.

Brought a tear to my eye.

:)

Bernie

On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 1:40 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:59:20PM -0800, Bernie ROSSI wrote:
> Umm, in the middle of it?  :)
>
> We spent hours each day on the IRC channel, everyone working towards
> getting the system back up and running.  Many many hours spent in the "War
> Room",
>
> So, no one remembers when we were UCLink and went down for about a week?

I can neither confirm nor deny the actual identity of Lirpa Sloof or on
any matters related to UnLink or UnLink 2000 posts made circa 1995.

> Ah, those were the days…..

Yes, I remember many clever students obtaining shell access to what was
an otherwise underutilized 3-CPU DEC Alpha POP server called uclink4 by
uploading a .forward which popped open an xterm on the students display
so that they could get a real shell.

Those were the days.

> Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
>
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:18 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > "Thanks", Facebook, for reminding me of this saga that I had nearly
> > and mercifully forgotten about.
> >
> >
> > http://ucbsystems.org/2011/11/25/unscheduled-outage-calmail-authentication-problem/
> > https://twitter.com/UCBCalMail
> >
> > For those who weren't around Campus during the pre-bConnected days,
> > the then-Campus email service, CalMail, suffered what ought to have
> > been a relatively minor hardware failure over the 2011 Thanksgiving
> > weekend.
> >
> > It turned into 1-2 weeks of hard-downtime without e-mail access and
> > over a month before the return of full service.  IST pulled in many
> > resources from across campus and beyond to work on this.
> >
> > Later in December, Campus announced that it had selected Google for
> > its email/calendaring/collaboration service provider; the selection
> > process for that had been in progress since before the downtime.
> >
> > The outages of CalMail were few, but significant - I feel like what
> > outages we have with bMail may be more frequent, but far smaller on
> > an individual basis and thus less impactful.
> >
> > I was on the East Coast at the time, taking some personal time over
> > in NYC before, ironically, attending USENIX LISA, the yearly USENIX
> > system administration conference in Boston [0], but back here, many
> > on campus were suffering the lack of email, the edicts from on high
> > not to use off-campus e-mail services like personal gmeil accounts,
> > and the out-of-band (thankfully, EECS had its XMPP/Jabber IM system
> > that was interoperable at the time with people on GChat, so many of
> > us communicated via that and other channels - that interoperability
> > went away with the Googlification of Campus)
> >
> > Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011? How did you
> > cope with the lack of e-mail?
> >
> > --Jon
> > [0] Yeah, here I am, one of the only people from UC Berkeley at the
> > biggest sysadmin conference, and UC Berkeley e-mail is down.  Yeah,
> > that wasn't embarrassing, though I did get a good joke when someone
> > I knew who had done some consulting for CalMail asked, "What's up?"
> > I could only respond, "Not CalMail."
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
> >
> > To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe
> > from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please
> > visit the Micronet Web site:
> >
> > http://micronet.berkeley.edu
> >
> > Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and
> > the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This
> > means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses,
> > prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
> >
> > ANNOUNCEMENTS: To send announcements to the Micronet list, please use the
> > [hidden email] list.
> >


 
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Jon Forrest-3


On 11/25/2015 3:47 PM, Bernie ROSSI wrote:
> They found UCLink4 in a closet in the basement of Evans Hall a few years
> ago.  Gave me a picture.

I was there when Eric Allman and Kirk McKusick decommissioned
ucbvax - a truly history moment, although many of the young'uns
won't know what that was.

Jon Forrest
UCB (ret.)

 
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Michael Ball
I was a freshmen at the time of the outage (now I'm doing my MS), though I don't have an crazy stories. I do remember many frantic TAs and closely following all the updates.

Thanks all for the history! The stories are great to read!

Michael
--
Michael Ball
>From my iPhone
michaelball.co

> On Nov 25, 2015, at 3:51 PM, Jon Forrest <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>
>> On 11/25/2015 3:47 PM, Bernie ROSSI wrote:
>> They found UCLink4 in a closet in the basement of Evans Hall a few years
>> ago.  Gave me a picture.
>
> I was there when Eric Allman and Kirk McKusick decommissioned
> ucbvax - a truly history moment, although many of the young'uns
> won't know what that was.
>
> Jon Forrest
> UCB (ret.)
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
>
> To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:
>
> http://micronet.berkeley.edu
>
> Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
>
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Re: [Micronet] The Great Thanksgiving CalMail Outage of 2011 - a blast from the past

Ian Crew
In reply to this post by jon kuroda-2

On Nov 25, 2015, at 12:18 PM, jon kuroda <[hidden email]> wrote:

Where were you during the Great CalMail Outage of 2011?

I was the person behind @UCBCalMail for most of the outage. I spent ~16-17 hours a day for 2 weeks on Twitter.  I think that that’s enough for a lifetime! My personal favorite response to that effort: https://twitter.com/pkgw/status/142461753207435264

That also reminds me to mention: We’ve finally gotten things wired up properly so that @UCbConnected gets updated whenever we post a news article on the bConnected site.  Please follow us!  There’s also an RSS feed available at https://bconnected.berkeley.edu/news-archive/comments/feed/ if that’s easier.

Cheers,

Ian 

___
Ian Crew

IST-Architecture, Platforms and Integration (API)
Earl Warren Hall, Second Floor
University of California, Berkeley


 
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