2004/10/19 Protea/admin Server Downtime
The University's main admin server,, suffered a hard disk failure during the course of the night and is currently not accessible. While we are confident that no important information has been lost, we are unable to bring the machine into a usable state until the problem has been resolved. At present we don't have a good feel for how long this will take.

We've been in contact with the hardware vendor's agents in Port Elizabeth and a technician is due to arrive on site sometime after lunch. Once he has finished his diagnosis we will be in a better position to give an estimate of when service might be restored. It is hoped that normal operations will resume some time during the course of this afternoon.

All protea users and all services that depend on protea (for example, the meal delivery system) will be affected by this problem. Staff who make use of protea facilities for accessing student records, the purchasing system or maintenance requests will not be able to do so. Students in residence will be unable to change meal bookings until the service is restored, but the dining halls can continue functioning independently of protea for a couple of days if necessary. ROSS will continue to operate independently but no changes can be made to the data until such time as protea is restored. This includes password and other changes made in the last twenty-four hours.
As suspected, the University's databases on protea appear to be fine. The problem was a failed operating system disk. This disk has been replaced and the operating system has been recovered from Saturday's tape backups.

Unfortunately the backups were not entirely complete and as a result some scripts that are used to perform auxillary functions (for example updating ROSS) were not recovered. These will be recreated during the course of today (Wednesday). This means that while most of the admin systems running directly on protea will be accessable, some of those systems running elsewhere may not run entirely correctly or may not get updated information until these scripts are fixed.

Users with protea access should report any scripts that don't work to the Data Management Unit via e-mail at