Feeds

School email's out across UK

School's been blown to pieces

High performance access to file storage

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.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.