Letter to the Editor

12 October 2009

UCT community urged to participate in email survey

All at UCT are rightly concerned about the instability, for many months now, of the UCT email system. The Email Review Working Group of the University Information Communication Technology Committee (UICTC) has decided to investigate the best long-term solution for email.

Sakkie Janse van Rensburg, Executive Director of ICT, acknowledges that problems with Novell GroupWise continue; though in the past few weeks, custom-developed patches and fixes have helped, and some measure of stability is returning to the system. But it is clear that a repaired GroupWise is only one of several possible long-term email solutions, and we are moving ahead to consider options such as:

  1. To continue hosting our own email service, whether it be Novell's Groupwise, Microsoft's email solution or some other product;
  2. To have an external provider provision email to UCT at a certain cost per mailbox, and manage the support requirements for this solution; and
  3. To use increasingly available bandwidth via TENET to host our email on the 'cloud', i.e. have Google or Microsoft host our email on their servers, but retain our current email addresses.

A senior ICTS member will shortly visit institutions in the US to see how they provision email to students and staff, including the use of Google and Microsoft's 'cloud' solutions. Legal opinion will be needed in regard to issues related to intellectual property being hosted on the 'cloud' and thus out of our direct control. The Email Review Group will consult various user forums about their needs and opinions. By March 2010 they will make a proposal to the UICTC on what is felt to be the best email solution for UCT.

Students, academics and PASS staff should think of what will serve them best, and participate in an upcoming online survey of email and calendaring requirements. Be assured that ICTS and UICTC are taking the email issue very seriously.

Brandon Collier-Reed
Department of Mechanical Engineering

David Aschman
Department of Physics

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 28 Edition 15

12 Oct 2009

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