Server Migration essentially completed

The migration of services from our old server to the new one is essentially complete. There are still a few minor things that I need to take care of, but everything else is done. Email, list serv and the web site are all up and running as expected. There should be no further service interruptions.

Please let me know at  sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org if you notice any anomalies.

Thanks again for your patience as we move forward with our computers and network.

*********************************************************
David P. Both, RHCE

System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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St. Mark’s Server Migration, attempt 2

This Saturday, March 22, your St. Mark’s system administrators will once again attempt to perform the next phase of the server migration we started late last year. We attempted this last Saturday, the 8th, but had some problems which boiled down to the fact that I had neglected to install some required software.

We will again begin the migration by about 10am Saturday morning. In order maintain the integrity of the church’s email and listserv data the email service will be turned off during that part of the migration. When the data has been copied over to the new server and the configuration is ready, then email will be turned back on but using the new server. It is possible that email will be unavailable for up to two hours but it is more likely that outage may be shorter than that. The web site should only be unavailable for a few minutes at most.

In the event that things do not go well, which is always possible with computers as we saw last time, we can easily revert to using the old server for any one or all of the services while we work to resolve any problems.

Thanks for your understanding as we work to improve St. Mark’s’ computers and network.

*********************************************************
David P. Both, RHCE

System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
*********************************************************

St.Mark’s server migration continues

This Saturday, March 8, your St. Mark’s system administrators will perform the next phase of the server migration we started late last year.

In Phase 1 we purchased two new computers for Lorraine and Jackie and replaced their older ones. In Phase 2, we retasked the older computers as a firewall and a new server and some new functionality was introduced with the new server.

Now in phase three we continue by migrating the web server and email and list server from the old server hardware to the newer server hardware. John Sullivan, Mark Balas and I will be working on this phase.

We will begin the migration by about 10am Saturday morning. In order maintain the integrity of the church’s email and listserv data the email service will be turned off during that part of the migration. When the data has been copied over and the configuration is ready, then email will be turned back on but using the new server. It is possible that email will be unavailable for up to two hours but it is possible that outage may be shorter than that estimate. The web site should only be unavailable for a few minutes at most.

In the event that things do not go well, which is always possible with computers, we can easily revert to using the old server for any one or all of the services while we work to resolve any problems.

In preparation for the weekend migration, I will perform a software upgrade for the firewall and the new server. Because the Linux kernel will be updated, I will reboot those two systems. I plan to do the update Friday; the update itself will not require or cause any outages. I will perform the reboots early Saturday morning. The church email and web site will be unavailable for about 5 minutes while the computers reboot.

Thanks for your understanding as we improve St. Mark’s’ computers and network.

*********************************************************
David P. Both, RHCE
System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
*********************************************************

Power outage downs Email, Web and telephone service for about an hour

There was a widespread power outage in the area around St. Mark’s this morning which resulted in all power to the church being off between 8:00AM and 9:10AM. During that time, all computer services were down including Email and the web site. In addition, the church telephones were down.

The power came back on at about 9:10 this morning and all services are now back up and running normally.


David Both
System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC

Guest Speaker Feb. 2, 2014, at 9:30 am New Voting Regulations

     This Sunday during our Christian education hour, Nancy Moxley, with non-partisan Democracy North Carolina, will speak about the new laws pertaining to voting passed by the N.C. legislature in 2013.  
   These laws require voters to have a proper identification, no longer provides for straight-party voting, and ends same-day registration. 
   Nancy will inform us about this new law and advise us on ways we can work as a faith community to ensure that persons eligible to vote are registered and educated about this new law.
  
Register to vote
  
During Community Time, representatives from non-partisan “Souls to the Polls” will have voter registration forms available for all persons who would like to register to vote. You do not have to have an identification card to register, but a driver’s license is useful. If you have had a change of address or name change since you voted last, you will be able to make those changes at this time.

System Maintenance Completed

The planned maintenance of the St. Mark’s computers and network has been completed as of about 3:00PM Saturday.

All Email issues have been fixed. The problem was not an issue with your emails getting to the church, it was with attempting to send emails from the church. Outbound emails were being dropped during testing. Since the church staff was not at church yesterday or today, this did not affect the Rector’s ability to communicate with church members. Lorraine could still receive your emails sent to her St. Mark’s address and respond on her personal devices.

The only time your emails would not have been delivered to the church were during the time from about 9AM to about 3:15PM when the email server was turned back on. This was expected although the outage took longer than I had hoped. All emails sent to the church during that time would have been delayed and delivered when the server email service was restored or soon thereafter. No emails should have been lost or discarded.

St. Mark’s now has a secure wireless network in the main building. The coverage extends into the concourse and the sanctuary. This wireless does not extend to the CLC and work continues to provide wireless there. The wireless network is password protected to prevent unauthorized usage and the password will be changed from time to time.

There is more work to be performed before all of our planned changes have been completed. Over the next days and weeks your St. Mark’s system administrators will be working to move the email and web services from the old server to one of the retasked computers with more capabilities than the current one. This work may create very short, momentary service outages for email and the web site as the actual changeovers are made.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.


David Both
System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC

Maintenance mostly finished – some email issues remain

After our system and network maintenance today, most things are working, including the web site. We are still experiencing problems with email. Most email seems to arrive at the church as expected, but some does not. I am currently working to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, the rector may be delayed in responding to your emails.

We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this problem and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Computer and network maintenance Friday, January 24

Your St. Mark’s network and computer system administration team will be performing maintenance on the St. Mark’s network this Friday, January 24 between 9AM and 2PM. The church web site and email (including the list server) will be unavailable for major portions of that time.

We chose Friday because the church is not staffed on that day. The rector will not have access to the church email during that time either so please use alternate means of communication in the case of pastoral emergencies.

We will be performing the following tasks during the specified maintenance outage.

  • Install the retasked computers that were replaced by new ones purchased and installed late last year.
  • One computer will be used as a firewall. The existing server has a firewall of its own but this will make our network and church data more secure.
  • The other computer will be used as a replacement for our current server. Those functions, the web server, email server and list server will not be migrated on Friday, but the work we do Friday will allow us to easily migrate those server tasks to the new server over the following few days.
  • Install faster internal network switches to speed printing and make backups faster by a factor of 10x.
  • Create a separate guest network to further secure our internal network.
  • Install secured WiFi as part of the guest network for the main office area. Due to the substantial nature of the St. Mark’s building, it is not clear whether this WiFi will be available at any reasonable strength in the concourse or the sanctuary. It will definitely *not* reach the CLC or Ed buildings. Work is on-going to bring secure WiFi to the CLC.

We thank you for your patience during this work.

Your System Administrators

David Both
System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org

Blessings

We at St. Mark’s extend our heartfelt prayers for God’s blessing upon one and all.  May the peace of God be in our hearts and minds and souls this day and all the year long.  For those whose tradition includes a celebration of Christmas, may these coming twelve days be a time of renewal and rest, of joy and rejoicing.