January 29, 2008

Web server troubles

We have been having a lot of web server troubles recently (sigh). Recently, this has just gotten completely ridiculous.

Two Fridays ago, in the morning, our departmental web server went down. This is an important web server, containing a lot of documents that students need to access for their courses. And yes, web servers do go down sometimes, that's not the issue. Finally we got an email from tech support late on Friday afternoon - the web server had been hacked, they were cleaning it up, and hoped to have it back up and running, with its data, by Tuesday.

Tuesday came and went. So did Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, likewise. Only when it got to yesterday did we find in our inboxes any kind of communication on the subject. And the web server is back up. In theory. It looks ok, though time will tell.

Now I'm not an expert in helping fallen web servers back on their feet, and to me it seems that having a major web server, on which many people depend, out of action for more than a week is longer than it should have been out of action. But to not even let people know what's happening for 8 days? What is with that?! They even said explicitly at the end of their original email that they would keep us posted about how things were going, before going silent for more than a week!!

And of course you can't complain to tech support about the level of service. If you made it into their bad books there are a 1001 little ways they could subtly annoy you by messing with your computer settings if they wanted to. Or they could just ignore your polite requests for tech support.

Oh wait. They already do.


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