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Messaging/Collaboration Services The Duke Experience Michael Pickett September 21, 2004

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Messaging/Collaboration Services The Duke Experience Michael Pickett September 21, 2004. DukeMail (Cyrus based). 35,000 active users (20,000 staff, 5,000 faculty, 10,000 students) ~4000 simultaneous connections 700k to 1.2 million emails / day 3 tb storage (1.5 mirrored)

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dukemail cyrus based
DukeMail (Cyrus based)
  • 35,000 active users (20,000 staff, 5,000 faculty, 10,000 students)
  • ~4000 simultaneous connections
  • 700k to 1.2 million emails / day
  • 3 tb storage (1.5 mirrored)
  • 300K-500K / day tagged as spam
  • 10K / day deleted as viral
  • IMP webmail
lotus notes mostly med school and health system
Lotus Notes – mostly med school and health system
  • 21,000 active users
  • 3 tb (1.5 mirrored)
  • Email and Calendar
many schools have their own email servers
Many schools/have their own email servers.
  • Arts and Science mixed use (CS, Sociology, Physics, Statistics)
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine & Nursing (Health System Lotus Notes )
schools using dukemail exclusively
Schools using DukeMail exclusively
  • Fuqua
  • Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Divinity
Drivers for running a local email server:

control, quota/message space, security, spam/virus checking, speed, reliability, vanity naming, job security

from sociology web page on email
From Sociology web page on email:

“In general, most prefer to use the Sociology mail system. It is more responsive and reliable than the university system, supports higher quotas on mailbox size and mail folders, and indicates a distinctive affiliation with better choices for userids.”

from engineering web page
From Engineering web page:

"The MEMS file and email server (ME1) suffered a catastrophic hardware failure on the hard drive storing all user data. The hard drive has been replaced and data is being restored from backup. We expect the system to be back up by midnight tonight. Any data/email stored after approx midnight July 20th will NOT be recoverable since the last backup was completed approximately 3 days ago.”

from an oit post to the duke computing list
From an OIT post to the Duke computing list:

“During yesterday's CLAC meeting when we were discussing the problems with the server, the following error was reported in our logs:

Sep 9 15:54:38 ufs: [ID 879645 kern.notice] NOTICE: /var/imap/data/vol004: unexpected free inode 1107299, run fsck(1M) -o f”

email specifications
Email Specifications
  • DukeMail spec group - design an enterprise email service with sufficient features and process to eliminate the obstacles many units feel prevent them from being able to use an enterprise email system. See:
  • Review by ITAC
  • Given to tech team
planning group participants
Planning Group Participants
  • Engineering
  • Library
  • OIT Systems
  • OIT Security
  • Fuqua School of Business
  • Law School
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Computer Sciences
  • School of the Environment
  • Student Affairs
requirements of the duke enterprise email system
Requirements of the Duke Enterprise Email System
  • Responsiveness
  • Reliability
  • Quotas and Capacity
  • Security and Privacy
  • Recoverability and Archiving Characteristics
  • Integration and interoperability with other systems and services (e.g. portal, calendaring)
requirements of the duke enterprise email system cont
Requirements of the Duke Enterprise Email System (cont)
  • Features Required for “Supported Clients”
  • Aliases and Addressing
  • Responsibility and processes for keeping the system useful
  • Spam and Virus Checking
  • Review and Update Process
group email policy
Group Email Policy
  • ITAC subcommittee
  • Policy by ITAC steering
  • ITAC review
  • Senior officers policy issued
  • The larger the group, the higher the authority needed to email
  • Event
  • Group
  • Individual (e.g. student)
  • Resource scheduling
event calendaring
Event Calendaring
  • 2002-2003 - Many different event calendars
  • “University” event calendar unsatisfactory and unused
  • No standards-based interoperable event calendars
  • Feedback sought on functionality needed (News, Student Services, etc)
  • Interim event calendar - Lotus Domino based
  • 2003-2004 – Much unhappiness with functionality – enhancements requested
  • 2004 Enhancements to “interim” completed
  • 2004 Push to select replacement begins – WebEvent and Oracle reviewed
group calendaring
Group Calendaring
  • “A full-featured, widely-used, standards based, interoperable group calendar is always 18 months away”
  • Divergent calendaring efforts (Health System, Admin, A&S, Engineering, Fuqua, Law)
  • Calendar Explorations and Specifications Meeting
calendar review process
Calendar Review Process
  • Goal: identify interim (18 mo) solution for departments see:
  • Review team
  • Vendor shootout: Meeting Maker, Oracle Calendaring, Sun Calendaring, Microsoft, Groupwise
  • Finalists: Meeting Maker & Oracle Calendaring
  • Last second issues
    • Meeting Maker acquires WebEvent - CEO Software
    • Oracle calls for input into event calendar design
  • Event calendar process vs group calendar process
calendar decision process
Calendar Decision Process
  • Charter/ground rules
  • Requirements first
  • Final decision by VPIT/CIO
  • Stay with interim solution till interoperable solution is likely
final group personal calendar criteria
Final group/personal calendar criteria
  • Ease of use
  • Richness in functionality
    • Administrative assistants
    • Staff
    • Faculty
    • Students
    • Organizations
  • Technical integration/fit
  • Standards commitment/compliance
  • Cost
  • Stability and strategic direction of vendor
detailed requirements participants staff students faculty
Detailed Requirements Participants (staff, students, faculty)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Organizations
  • Duke Student Union
  • Office of Student Activities and Facilities
  • Career Center
  • News and Communication
  • Athletic office
  • President’s office
  • Human Resources
  • Duke Chapel
  • Duke Performances
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Law School
  • Fuqua School of Business
  • Medical School
process focus groups
Process - Focus groups
  • Requirements
  • How do you use calendars?
  • What are the functionalities you need?
  • How well does Meeting Maker/Oracle meet your needs
  • Unscripted looking around
  • Scripted tasks
  • Feedback
other collaborative tools that are used
Other collaborative tools that are used
  • Handhelds
  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • WebForums (portal, Phpbb, Infopop, Yabb)
  • Workflow
  • IRC/chat – mostly AOL IM – some Yahoo, Jabber, Zepher
  • Lists (Majordomo, Listproc, Listserv, Mailman)
  • Usenet (duke.computing – no posts for 2 years)