2004/11/09 - Core System Opertaing System Upgrades
As part of our ongoing quest to keep things up-to-date, several of the University's core server will be upgraded to FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE. At present, six machines are in the process of being upgraded: elephant, squirrel, skink, slug, iguana and rhino.

Each machine that is upgraded will need to be rebooted to install a new kernel. This happens as the last stage of the upgrade and should be the only part that is noticeable to users. The reboots of the various systems will be staggered to allow us time to concentrate on each machine individually.

The first two of these are scheduled to happen shortly before lunch today. The ResNet firewall ( and a backup proxy server ( will be rebooted at 12:30 this afternoon. Both these systems should experience approximately ten minutes downtime, with the result that all users of the Residence Network will be without connectivity during this time. If all goes according to plan, ResNet users should be able to connect to the network as per normal by 13:00 today.
The upgrade of slug didn't go as smoothly as anticipated. The machine was down for an hour and fifteen minutes instead of the ten originally expected. This was due to some unforseen problems with the fibre optic network card. Since this machine is the only one of the six due to be upgraded that has this sort of hardware, and the only one that runs a significant number of VLANs.