Library Network Infrastructure Upgrade
By Carlos Rodriguez, Director, Library Information Systems

Over the next several months, the Systems Office will be upgrading several servers and network applications, many which were long overdue. The upgrades will provide much needed improvements in reliability, security and management. I have outlined the upgrades and their benefits below.

On Monday, May 23 both the network operating system and the various servers that provide network services will be upgraded. The current servers are several years old and do not provide adequate storage and performance to maintain our current growth. In addition, the network operating system based on Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 will be upgraded to Windows 2003 and Active Directory. Although, you may not notice a significant difference in how you access the library network and its resources, the major improvements will be in the areas of security, network and PC management, file restoration, single sign-on capabilities, software updates and overall network stability, reliability and performance.

On Monday, June 6 the servers that provide email services will be upgraded from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003. Major improvements will be seen in the areas of increased storage, security, reliability and performance. In addition, web-based email services will receive a much needed upgrade. As many of you are aware, the libowa server that provides Web access to your email has been unreliable and has some functionality limitations. The Exchange 2003 Web access component will provide functionality that is nearly identical to the Microsoft Outlook that you use from your desktop. Jim will be providing workshops on both Outlook 2003 and the new version of Web Outlook in early June.

In early July, the Innovative server will be upgraded. As you know, this server is essentially the heart of the Library in terms of technology. The server provides all essential functions related to the acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, access, maintenance and management of the Library’s resources. The current server is almost 6 years old and has outlived its usefulness. Due to its age, we are no longer able to upgrade to the current version of Millennium. Also, as we continue to upgrade to newer, more powerful versions of Millennium and increase the size of the collection and the amount of users accessing the server via both EUREKA and Millennium, the need to have a more powerful server becomes more important.

Also in July, several other servers will be upgraded. These include: LOCUS, PrintSmart and Illiad. At that time the Library will be moving to a Storage Area Network (SAN) environment that will provide increased storage capacity and improved back-up capabilities and scalability.

We will try to minimize any inconvenience that these upgrades will cause in terms of unavailability to network resources. Most of these upgrades will take place early in the morning and will usually take no longer than 5 hours to complete. However, the Innovative server upgrade will probably take an entire day to complete. We will also provide hourly updates via email and/or voice mail. If you have any questions about either the scheduling of the upgrades or about the impact and benefits that these upgrades will provide, please don’t hesitate to contact me.