Telephone and Internet upgrade Thursday, June 5; Outages expected

This coming Thursday, June 5, Time Warner will complete the installation of the new phone lines and our new Internet connection. This is scheduled to begin between 8AM and noon on that day.

There will be outages of all of our services during parts of that time. This includes the church phones and the web and email services. We hope these outages will be short but as with all technical endeavors much can go wrong.

Remember that our telephone numbers, email addresses and web site will remain the same. Only our service provider is changing. You do not need to change anything.

The purpose of this change is to improve out Internet speeds, especially the speed with which our web pages loaded when you visit our web site, and to save St. Marks money on our phone and Internet service every month. Some folks have asked me about installation costs and how much that will offset our projected savings; we were able to take advantage of a free installation promotion that Time Warner was offering so the installation will not cost St. Mark’s anything.

Please contact me at dboth@stmarks-ral.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve our services.

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David P. Both, RHCESystem Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone and Internet upgrade at St. Mark’s

We will be migrating both our Internet and telephone service from AT&T to Time Warner Business Class (TWBC). TWBC will provide us with faster upload speeds than any other service provider is able and at a lower price as well.

The upload speed is what really needs to be improved at St. Mark’s as that is the speed at which our server can send you the contents of a web page. This has been severely limited with AT&T, our current provider, and will be increased by a factor of between 6x and 8x.

The telephones, web site and email will not be impacted and should not be disturbed during the installation of the physical cable connections until they have been extended into the furnace room. At that time our telephone PBX will be connected to the TWCBC cable, and we will also move to the new TWBC Internet connection.

The telephone system should be down for an hour or so as the connections are transferred and then tested. We will have the same telephone numbers as we always have.

The Internet connection is easy and fast to swap, so we won’t “technically” be down for long, but we will get new a IP Address so I will have to change that at our Name Service registrar. That will take anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours to propagate throughout the entire Internet. If you send an email, it will be held at your ISP’s outbound email server until that server can communicate with ours and it will then be sent.

We do not yet have from Time Warner a date when this work will take place. We will let you know as soon as we do.

Please, if you have any questions, address them to me at sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org and I will answer them as best I can.

Thanks.

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David P. Both, RHCE
System Administrator
sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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April 28, 2014 New Hope Road Alliance Meets

On Monday, April 28, 2014, lay and ordained leaders from among the eight faith communities comprising the New Hope Road Alliance will gather for a lunch meeting at St. Mary’s Coptic Church.  Topics on the agenda will include the New Hope Road Community Garden, the relationship with Wilburn Elementary School, and other possible outreach projects.  A picnic is in the planning stages to be held in early August so that many more members of the various faith communities can build relationships.  More information will be published as details are determined.

Planned server outage Thursday, April 3

There will be a short server outage on Thursday morning, April 3, 2014, starting at about 9 a.m. to install a replacement server. We expect the outage to be about 30 minutes in duration. Email, including mailing lists, and the web site will be unavailable during that time.

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David P. Both, RHCE
System Administrator
sysadmin@stmarks-ral.org
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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Celebrating Lay Ministries

We at St. Mark’s highly value the variety of ministries of our lay members, their ministries within the church and particularly their ministries in the world around us. On March 30th we said a special thank you to our newsletter editor, Bill DuPre!! He edits the greatest parish newsletter in the world (yes, we are biased about Bill’s ministry). This coming Sunday, April 6th, we’ll celebrate the ministries of our Lectors, Intercessors, and Announcers — those persons whose voices open to us the scriptures, lead us in the prayers of the people, and keep us up-to-date on ministry opportunities. When we celebrate these ministries and more, we are celebrating the ‘who they are’ as people created in God’s image as much as we are celebrating how they live out ‘who they are.’ We’d like to celebrate who you are as well! St. Mark’s has room for you.

A Bishop is Coming…A Bishop is Coming… March 30, 2014

We are delighted to welcome to St. Mark’s, Raleigh, on Sunday, March 30, 2014, our Bishop Suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple!!   Bishop Anne will be with us at 9:30 a.m. to have a conversation with adults and teens about faith, the church, and the ways in which we serve the world around us.  Then at 10:30 a.m. she will be our Celebrant and Preacher, as well as leading us in Confirmation and Reception.  At this service will are also looking forward to honoring our wonderful newsletter editor, Mr. Bill DuPre!   We look forward to seeing you all.  (The 8:30 a.m. service will gather as we usually do.)

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.

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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.

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David P. Both, RHCE

System Administrator
St. Marks Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC
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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.

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