Caitlin Donnell

Mustang Daily

As students and faculty may have noticed, Cal Poly’s e-mail service, Oracle, was down throughout Wednesday and has been experiencing technical difficulties for some time.

In an open letter to the campus community, Tim Kearns, the vice provost and chief information officer for Cal Poly’s Information Technology Services (ITS), explained that the service has been frustrating and problematic for campus users of the Oracle e-mail and calendar systems for the past few weeks.

“The systems have not been stable or reliable since ITS staff applied an Oracle-recommended security upgrade on Jan. 29,” Kearns said in the letter. “This caused our current problems which we have not been successful in isolating and fixing. We regret the inconvenience it has caused the campus community.”

According to the Cal Poly System Status Web site, e-mail and calendar services from Oracle have been unavailable since 6 a.m. Wednesday. The site stated ITS has gathered information about how the system is failing and that Oracle is helping resolve the problem. The cause is under investigation.

The site, which provides current central systems information, is continually updating the status of the services. In addition to the recent unexpected problems with the Oracle e-mail and calendar services, the site provides information about regularly scheduled system down times when ITS works on the system.

The letter from Kearns also stated that ITS will continue to work with Oracle to resolve the existing problems. Changes in the future include procedures for making upgrades and responding to problems, adding hardware and simplifying the e-mail system for better reliability and reducing its dependence on other systems, the letter stated.

ITS also plans to provide additional Oracle services in the future such as calendar, online files and collaboration software to the whole campus, all of which will enable Cal Poly to have “a suite of highly effective and reliable tools to facilitate learning and working here,” the letter stated.

“ITS is making a renewed commitment to provide more reliable service and to better communicate with the campus community,” Kearns stated in the letter. “I regret that we did not communicate with users earlier about the problems we were experiencing. Our hope was that they would be temporary, but our lack of warning to users caused unnecessary frustration.”

ITS advisory information is available at 756-7000 and to check for system status updates, visit http://www.systemstatus.calpoly.edu/.

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