October 31st, 2011

Today's topics:

Firefox versions in use at LEPP

LEPP is currently running (and has standardized on) the Firefox 3.6 series, the most recent as of this writing is 3.6.23. Firefox has released newer versions as part of a "rapid-release" schedule, which means a new version number every 6 weeks. This is problematic as the LEPP computer group doesn't have time to test a new major release every 6 weeks - we'd be doing little else! Before we push out a Firefox update, we need to make sure it works with internal and university web services such as Replicon and eShop. We also need to determine if it works well with the major plugins such as Adobe Flash and Java that are used across the web and at the lab for various tasks. Finally we need to test its stability and resource use to ensure it will run on the computers we have deployed. Then we have to build a package that we can push out to Windows computers, and again for Linux. As you can imagine, this is a bit time consuming.

Now that Firefox is no longer letting us know which releases are major functionality changes, and which are bug and security fixes, we're planning on running an every few version release schedule. We're not sure how often we'll be doing these updates quite yet, but every 4 versions may be workable. We are currently testing Firefox 7, and we'll provide further updates here as we move along.

Note that as Firefox is provided and supported by our Linux distribution (based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux), we will not update the version of Firefox installed locally on our Linux systems. We may, however, provide an additional installation of firefox that can be manually used as desired. For more information on our Linux software deployment policies, please see https://wiki.lepp.cornell.edu/lepp/bin/view/Computing/LinuxSupport#Policies.

Outlook Web Access and Exchange problems Monday morning

Some people experienced problems with Outlook Web Access and with Outlook itself while trying to read email this (Monday) morning. CIT reported that there was a substantial spike in Exchange usage during the morning which seemed to be responsible for the Outlook problems. The Outlook problems seemed to go away by 10:10 AM, after the traffic level decreased to normal. They are continuing to investigate ways to better cope with intermittent high traffic levels.

As of this writing, the Outlook Web Access problems are still being investigated, and might or might not be fixed by the time you read this.

General network and server maintenance will occur every Tuesday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. The CLASSE-IT group will always announce any expected disruptions in our NewsLetter and via CLASSE-IT-NEWS-L, but with the size and complexity of our network there is always the potential for something to go wrong. We will do our best to contain all network maintenance and planned outages to Tuesdays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.

Unless other arrangements have been made, CLASSE-managed Windows systems may be updated and rebooted on Tuesday morning at 2:00 AM, so please avoid critical or lengthy operations at that time. For more details, please see SystemExpectations.

Questions or problems? Submit a service request.

Other resources:

Topic revision: r4 - 31 Oct 2011, JamesPulver
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