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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Server Room Tragedy #8

The situation, the tragedies:
IIIT changes ISP. Internet deteriorates, and is unpredictable (my opinion). The transition of public IP addresses weren't carried out smoothly -- misconfiguration. The research server managed to get itself listed into a number of DNS blacklists. Mails from the research server were being bounced back or treated as spam (I tested with gmail). The DNS configuration file serial ids were unchaged, confusing the DNS caches for our IPs all over the world. I fixed some of these.

IIIT is now dependent on a single ISP. Alternate mail routing is impaired. No round-the-clock incoming mails now if this ISP is down. The internet gateway server is removed. It's firewall had been placed with the intention of protecting the webservers of several research labs since they don't have firewalls of their own.

Paresh tells me that he's unable to use spamassassin for filtering spams. Some configuration files are inaccessible. He mailed the sysadmin staff a week ago and now has given up hopes for a response.

Visesh tells me that his mails to some universities had bounced. They treated IIIT mails as spams. He has switched to gmail now.

The cookie crumbles:
Things are not right. This is not how IIIT's system administration ought to function. I have three words to describe it -- cluelessness, damange-control and irresponsibility. If student sysadmins are unnecessary, why does Mr XYZ come running to me for every silly but critical problem? I can continue "helping" but what after 1 month when I'm gone? There has to be a solution before a major disaster breaks out.

I'm going to meet the director. I've sought an appointment. Others (particularly labcoms) are welcome to join me.

1. When are you going to talk to the director?
Ans: As soon as I get the appointment.

2. What are you going to suggest to the director?
Ans: I think that the server room cannot function without a student sysadmins. Not having student sysadmins is suicidal. Repeat after me. Not having student sysadmins is suicidal.

3. Do you think you are crazy?
Ans: Yes. Do you think so too? :)
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