Feeds

School email's out across UK

School's been blown to pieces

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

7,500 UK schools using the email services of RM Plc, the UK's largest education technology supplier, have been without communications this week.

RM's EasyMail Plus service collapsed last weekend during an upgrade it was performing to deal with mushrooming levels of spam.

Billy McNeil, development director of RM Plc, said the system was being reintroduced to schools throughout the day and about 1,600 schools - all its customers in the south west - had already had their service restored.

The system was being upgraded because spam had been overloading and slowing its system. Between May 2006 and February 2007 the number of messages being passed through its school email service had increased almost fourfold, from 550 messages per minute to 2,000 messages per minute. About 85 per cent of these were spam, it said in a refreshingly informative explanation of the outage.

The 750,000 users of the system are also sending more email than they used to. In the last half of spring term, about 13,000 pupils were using EasyMail Plus at any one time. After half term, the number of simultaneous email users had risen to 16,000 median. The system holds 400m files on 90 hard disks with more than a terabyte of storage capacity. McNeil's team have yet to work out what went wrong because they are getting the old system up and running. They think the extra cpu and memory they added last weekend might have overloaded the power supply.

"The system we have has got 100 per cent redundancy and mirrored hardware, which is maintained live," said McNeil.

"But the problem we had, broke both sides of the system so all the business continuity got broken," he added.

To restore the service, the McNeil's team have had to replace and rebuild each of the failed disks. It appears to have retained its data.®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.