Current time: 04-17-2014, 02:43 PM Hello There, Guest! (LoginRegister)

Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
06-29-2001, 03:15 AM
Post: #1
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Welcome back, class!

Today's lesson is a logical follow-up to our last discussion. Let's begin, shall we?

Here's the latest message that our jolly (and I mean that in a good way) admins have sent:

-----------------

Quote:Subject: mail server difficulties Type: Downtime
Hello DreamHost Customers!

We're having some networking issues with your mail server at the moment.
At this point, we're able to reach it again, but there is definitely
something funky with it.

Should be fixed within an hour or so.
Our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you!

Happy DreamHost Fixit Team!

Jun 29th, 2001 - 02:20:08 AM PST

-----------------

The effort to get a trouble report out immediately is excellent (and much appreciated)! Extra points are earned for the mention of an ETA for resolution, as well as a specific cause -- networking issues. In addition, having personally seen this anomolous behavior in the server already this morning, I definitely agree with the admin's technical diagnosis of "something funky with it". Our admins get their choice of a gold star sticker, a Chiquita Banana sticker, or an "Intel Inside" sticker to wear proudly on their foreheads.

Unfortunately, there is still at least one detail missing. Here's the same message, with the mystery omitted:

-----------------

Quote:
Quote:Subject: mail server difficulties Type: Downtime
Hello DreamHost Customers!

We're having some networking issues with your mail server -- Hoggle
-- at the moment. At this point, we're able to reach it again, but
there is definitely something funky with it.

Should be fixed within an hour or so.
Our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you!

Happy DreamHost Fixit Team!

Event Summary:

Event ID: DHMID 2001-06-29-0001
Event Type: Mail server network problems
Event start: Fri., June 29, 1:50 am PST
Estimated Event Resolution: Fri., June 29, 3:30 am PST
Server affected: Hoggle
Services affected: mail

-----------------

Yes, that darned old pesky server name keeps getting left out. Since some of us have accounts on more than one server, we need to know exactly which server is affected.

(On the other hand, if you're an anal-retentive guy like me, you have a mail app polling the server every 10 minutes, and/or have a server-monitoring app that does the same...)

So, class, you should be commended for your hard work and improved scores!

Alright, that's it for today... Don't forget your homework, and remember mid-terms are coming up soon.

*snicker*

:::ducking:::

...Bob
Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 04:42 PM
Post: #2
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
I'll give you one thing, Bob, you certainly are creative. :>

I've forwarded these on to the admin and dev teams - the guys who do most of the announcements. I'll try to make your case for you (I tend to agree with your suggestions)...

- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 05:00 PM
Post: #3
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Jeff wrote:

Quote:I'll give you one thing, Bob, you certainly are creative. :>

Heheheh... Thanks! (It's a curse, really. For me, and in cases like this, those around me. <g> )

So, I didn't get a reply to my last email to you (the long one). I take it you got it... but maybe you're just not finished reading it yet. <g>

...Bob
Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 05:13 PM
Post: #4
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Yeah, I've had a tough time replying to email lately. I've been pretty busy (work related, and I'm planning a wedding).

But I definitely read everything that's sent to me, and usually respond in some fashion. :>

In short, I think the ideas you gave were pretty good. Not a mailing list, per se, but maybe a setting where users can choose between 'basic' and 'expanded' announcements.

Our current announcements are targeted to users on specific machines, though. If you're not sure who they're aimed at, it should be for whichever user is selected in the web panel (it's possible we may need to make the UI for that a little more clear though).

- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 05:24 PM
Post: #5
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Jeff wrote:

Quote:Yeah, I've had a tough time replying to email lately. I've been pretty
busy (work related, and I'm planning a wedding).

<snip>

Hey, congrats! (Unless it' not your wedding, and you're a professional wedding planner.) <g>

Quote:In short, I think the ideas you gave were pretty good. Not a mailing list,
per se, but maybe a setting where users can choose between 'basic' and
'expanded' announcements.

That would be excellent...

Quote:Our current announcements are targeted to users on specific machines,
though. If you're not sure who they're aimed at, it should be for
whichever user is selected in the web panel

Oy... That's really painful.

Quote:(it's possible we may need to
make the UI for that a little more clear though).

OH, yes. That's a very large 10-4. Especially when you have a lot of users, a lot of domains, and a lot of scrolling to do. <g>

Putting it in the message would make it immediately apparent. Remember, the mantra is "clarity, clarity, clarity."

<g>

Thanks for going to bat for that!

...Bob
Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 06:23 PM
Post: #6
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Hi Bob,

Yep, it's my wedding I've been planning (thanks for the congrats, and no I'm most definitely not a pro planner - this is the last time for me!). :>

I'm still promoting the idea of a two-tier system, but that may take a while if we decide to go that route (maybe after the DH2 transition is done).

But, there's a little progress. Our good friend Josh put the following reminder list of things to mention for downtime announcements:

---
machine(s) affected. (some people have accounts on multiple machines)
service(s) on those machines affected.
possible cause.
start time for the downtime.
estimated time it will be fixed.
---

I think we usually catch all of these when we make the announcements, but this will serve as a reminder.

This wouldn't address announcements for more esoteric changes, such as the cucipop/qpopper switch we had briefly before, but I'm still exploring options for that.

Keep the suggestions coming... :>

- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 06:27 PM
Post: #7
A+! (was: Re: Communication Clinic #2...)
Well, class...

Ask and ye shall receive!

Bob = Squeaky Wheel.

Grease =

Quote:Subject: Mail Service Interuption Type: Downtime

In our efforts to better serve you, we are performing some maintenance on
your mail server (hoggle) this evening at 5:30pm PST. This will affect all
POP, IMAP, and SMTP (mail delivery) services for approximately 20 minutes.

All the elements are there! Server name, start time, ETA, services affected.

Now, class, take a good look at this excellent work... This is the way it should always be done! <g>

Thanks to Jeff for taking up the Cause of Clarity, and thanks to the admin who published this notice for listening!

The admin and Jeff each get their choice of stickers (gold star, Chiquita Banana, or "Intel Inside") for their foreheads, *plus* a serving of ice cream for lunch today at the cafeteria. <g>

Thanks!!

...Bob
Find all posts by this user
06-29-2001, 06:44 PM
Post: #8
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Jeff...

You writ:

Quote:Yep, it's my wedding I've been planning (thanks for the congrats, and no
I'm most definitely not a pro planner - this is the last time for me!). :>

Good on ya! Save me some cake!

Quote:I'm still promoting the idea of a two-tier system,

And maybe a four-tier cake? <g>

Quote:but that may take a
while if we decide to go that route (maybe after the DH2 transition is done).

Well, as long as the vital info discussed is there, I'm a happy camper.

Quote:But, there's a little progress.

<snip>

Yes, I just got the first notice using the info-filled format. Way to go! Many thanks...

Quote:I think we usually catch all of these when we make the announcements, but
this will serve as a reminder.

<snip>

Weeeeellll... In the announcements I've seen since I've been here, the server name and exact services affected have never been included (services were only generic, like "mail"), and start and end times have been spotty at best.

But like I say, if the announcements include all of Josh's points, that'll cover a multitude of sins. <g>

Quote:Keep the suggestions coming... :>

Hey, that's like suggesting to the Pope that he continue being Catholic. <g>

Thanks again... And thank Josh for me!

...Bob
Find all posts by this user
07-06-2001, 12:53 AM
Post: #9
Communication Clinic #2:"mail server difficulties"
Just wanted to say thanks for the latest communique...

Quote:Subject: Your Mailserver is now......
Type: Informational

Fixed!

Hello Happy DreamHost Customers! I believe someone sent out an
announcement about this earlier....

Your mailserver (dot.dreamhost.com) pretty much bellied up early this
morning. We tried to fix it, but from what we could tell, it wasn't a
software problem, but rather a hardware problem.

Over the past several hours, we moved all of the mail spool and
directories over to a brand new machine, and reconfigured it to become
your new mail server.

Thanks for the effort on the server...

<snip>

Quote:The one thing we should've done better was to have a completely empty
machine sitting there as a "hot-swap" machine. We ~did~ have one, but that
was used up recently to replace another dead machine.... Tomorrow, we'll
be ordering four new machines to sit at our datacenters as hot-swap
machines.

Thanks especially for the info in this last 'graph. It's the kind of stuff that I had been griping at you about before... I'm absolutely *thrilled* to hear you're stocking up on hot-swap boxes. And it's great to know the details, no matter what they are.

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

...Bob
Find all posts by this user


Forum Jump: