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New university e-mail system to be faster, more reliable

By Ryan Gabrielson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 1, 2000
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Next fall, the University of Arizona based e-mail system will become faster and more efficient to accommodate an increasing number of users and rapidly aging technology.

The Center for Computing & Information Technology announced it has created a new system with better technology and a greater capacity to handle the nearly 35,000 users.

With the new system, UA students and faculty will be able to access their mail from anywhere in the world. CCIT has purchased two sun boxes - e-mail servers - along with 750 gigabytes of computer space. Each of the two servers will be able to detect any problem that the other may be having and will take over the duties of that CPU.

"This way we'll never lose data because of its full redundancy because sometimes disks just die," said Stephen Buckler, CCIT program director.

Buckler said this is another step toward meeting student's e-mail needs.

"We're trying to accomplish e-mail that's strong and running 24/7, 365," Buckler said.

The memory that the university purchased is the equivalent of 750 gigabytes - most desktop computers have 12 gigabytes.

"It should have quite an effect on the university by giving people more space," Buckler said.

The size of the mail store - number of messages each box can hold - is expected to at least double and so is the speed at which it sends and receives messages.

"This should hold us through the next generation," Buckler said. "It will deliver your mail faster, with bigger mailboxes and it'll be more reliable."

The project took three years to complete and cost about $1 million. Buckler said he has great confidence in the project's staff and new system.

"They're really smart - scary smart - and it's a good strong piece of iron," Buckler said.

The current system has received many complaints from students because of the age of the technology.

"They should make it more modern, it's old fashioned," said Enrique Zuniga, operations management senior.

Others criticized its inability to complete the same functions that its web-based competitors can.

"You can't do anything, it's ancient and it doesn't work. Other than that it's fine," said Betsy Rodau, veterinary science freshman.

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