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Campus Computing News

By Dr. Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic Computing

EagleMail Upgrades

Some changes are being made to EagleMail which will hopefully not be visible, but may be sensed in better performance and increased reliability of the system. Previously, all mail coming into and going out through EagleMail was dependent on one computer. It has been a very reliable server, but reliance on that one system has made it very difficult to perform upgrades or make system changes which would cause EagleMail to become unavailable. At the heart of EagleMail is an IMAP mail system which not only services the EagleMail Web client, but is also available for access from clients like Microsoft Outlook, Netscape, and even Simeon. imap.unt.edu is also an outgoing mail server for those IMAP clients on the unt.edu network as well.

As of July 12, 2002, the EagleMail Web client, the IMAP server, and the outgoing mail server on imap.unt.edu are all running on sets of redundant servers which share the load of the network traffic and help to ensure that there is always a server available. This architecture also allows us to make upgrades by changing one computer out of a set at a time without having any down time for the E-mail service. We also will be moving E-mail mailboxes to a set of mailbox servers which will spread the load amongst four different systems and allow us to add servers as we need to to expand the number of users and maintain the best performance possible.

eaglemail.unt.edu

One side effect of these changes is that you might see the domain name "eaglemail.unt.edu" if you look closely in E-mail headers. When we started the student E-mail system all mail went to Jove. With various changes over the years, the centrality of the Jove system to the E-mail system has gradually lessened until Jove was finally removed from service in May. Most people use an address which ends in "@unt.edu". The unt.edu server is just a mail relay host which accepts mail from the "outside world" and routes it to the a mailbox system where your mail client can retrieve it. In the case of EagleMail, the destination is now eaglemail.unt.edu. However, we still recommend that you use "@unt.edu" in your EagleMail address and that is the address that we want to show up in all of your outgoing and inbound mail. Still, if you notice the eaglemail.unt.edu domain, remember that in any mail going out from UNT will have the address translated so that "@unt.edu" shows in the from address.

More upgrades on the horizon

We expect that with increases in enrollment, the need for more EagleMail accounts will also grow. Academic Computing Services is responding with a new scalable E-mail architecture which will allow us to grow the E-mail system to respond to the increasing demand. Any questions about EagleMail can be sent to Dr. Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic Computing (baczewski@unt.edu)


* For an example of looking closely at E-mail headers, see this month's Network Connection. - Ed.