GW implements new e-mail server, interface

GW appropriated a $600,000 budget to implement a new e-mail system that will alleviate the constant surge of failures and delays that students experienced all year, said Guy Jones, director of Networking Information Technology.

What we’ve been trying to do for the past semester is to keep GWIS2 limping along, Jones said. What we’re doing now is abandoning the GWIS2 system.

A new computer server, with five times the amount of memory, will support e-mail for students and faculty than the GWIS2 system offers. The University will also be able to add memory to the new cluster system without taking it offline – a feature not offered by GWIS2.

Internet use on campus has increased at an exponentially higher rate than the University anticipated, Jones said. Because students are receiving more e-mails with larger files, they are using all of the system’s memory.

It was anticipated, but not at this rate, Jones said.

Jones said the University did not allocate enough funds for e-mail in the past, forcing NIT to add temporary solutions to e-mail failures.

This is the first time the University has ever provided a budget specifically for e-mail, which indicates that GW has changed its view of e-mail, Jones said.

It shows that there is a recognition that e-mail has gone from a nice-to-have to a requirement, Jones said.

Jones said he anticipates a four-fold increase in e-mail use over the next two years, which the new server will be able to manage without delays.

As students send more files with full-motion video, the University may have to add even more memory in the future, he said.

The University will also switch to a more efficient e-mail interface to replace Webmail beginning next fall, Jones said.

The University will use a standard e-mail address (first name.last name@gwu.edu), but students will be able to use their old addresses as aliases, he said.

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