• Matt_s Swirls

IT News

2022-02-08, 8:30 PM

A failed switch port led to a noticeable period of network instability. Various services were temporarily unavailable between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The failing equipment has been replaced and everything is up as of 8:30 PM. The email server will be restarted later tonight (after 11:00 PM) for a thorough disk verification. This is expected to take less than 1/2 hour.


All disruptive work has been completed. Things to watch out for, as I continue to monitor the situation:

Firewall: everything from performance and basic connectivity to individual PI VLAN access, remote control of Conte desktops, etc. The network layout has been simplified, but most of the firewall rules had to be ported from the older "core" firewall to a new "edge" one.

Email: your client may need to re-synchronize the messages in your inbox. Everything else should be the same - folders, sub-folders, status of messages, etc. If anything is amiss (duplicate messages, missing messages, etc), please let me know. A few inboxes encountered issues due to damaged messages (most likely, due to an anti-virus program blocking infected attachments mid-write), and I will be contacting affected users shortly.

Remaining work: due to the current supply chain issues, I was unable to acquire the necessary hardware in time for this round of upgrades. I expect to replace the main storage drives early in the new year. This upgrade will be performed without any downtime and with a minimal performance impact.


13:30 Email work has been completed.

11:30: The required storage expansion consumed several hours and the current estimate is by mid-afternoon.

7:30 The email upgrade is approximately 80% complete, with an anticipated completion close to noon.


21:00 The firewall upgrade is mostly complete, with final adjustment of firewall rules to be completed tonight. No further building-wide network disruption is anticipated. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Planned network and email upgrades for the December 27-31 Campus Closure week:

1. The building firewall will be upgraded Monday, 12/27. This is expected to take a few hours, and the wired and wireless network will be unavailable throughout the upgrade period.

2. Users' mailboxes on mail.pse.umass.edu will be converted to a more efficient format in order to keep up with the growing volume of email. The conversion process will start immediately after the network is upgraded and is expected to take some time, possibly as long as several days. Email will be unavailable throughout the period of the conversion. Once service is restored, pending outgoing and incoming messages will be delivered.

Once the upgrade is complete and functionality is restored, things should work the way they did before the upgrade (only faster!). If you notice any functional difference either in network connectivity or in your mail.pse email access, please DO NOT HESITATE to bring it to my attention.

This page will be updated with better estimates as such become available.


PSE Webmail has been updated from SquirrelMail to RainLoop. https://mail.pse.umass.edu takes you to the new interface; if you prefer the old one, please visit https://mail.pse.umass.edu/webmail


A DesignJet Z6 42" printer is now up and ruinning.


A new printer is purchased and will be available some time next week.


The Poster Printer is DOWN. Current estimate for the repair timeframe is the week of November 18th. If you need a poster printed, there are commercial solutions in Amherst and Hadley, as well as the Poster Printing service of the UMass Library.


We are still waiting on UMIT to allow us access to eduroam. In the meantime, we have a new wireless controller, a different page for generating guest passes (https://wifi.pse.umass.edu:8443/wsg/) and a much longer term for the PSE-SECURE vouchers (as well as a place to enter your email to have the system remind you to renew your cetificates when they do expire eventually). Finally, please note that the ConteGuests Guest Passes are now case sensitive (and probably all upper case).


data.pse is being slowly deprecated (translation: don't use it for your email, don't use it for your files - in the long term). In the meantime, it has been migrated to a more stable platform, the disks have been expanded, and the server is being backed up hourly.


https://www.pse.umass.edu/backup. One more copy of files that you hopefully never need.


The main Conte Servers are being upgraded. If you notice any loss of functionality, please do not hesitate to contact us.


The Conte VPN client (the WatchGuard Mobile VPN with SSL) has been updated to version 12.0. Next time you try to connect, you will be advised to update it. It is safe to do so.The Conte VPN client (the WatchGuard Mobile VPN with SSL) has been updated to version 12.0. Next time you try to connect, you will be advised to update it. It is safe to do so.


Wireless: PSE, PSE-SECURE, and ConteGuests are now the only official PSE SSIDs. The https://www.pse.umass.edu/wireless page has been brought up to date to reflect the changes. We have spare radios on hand, so if you experience a weak wireless signal in your area of the building, please contact us.

Computing: most departmental servers have now been moved to a new and far more reliable platform. We encourage you to switch from data.pse to mail.pse for your email needs. IMAP, POP, and webmail are all supported, with mailbox and attachment size limits based on individual needs.



The Conte wireless network has been upgraded to new 802.11ac Wave 2 4x4 access points. Unfortunately, the older secondary access points that were filling in areas of weak signal were not compatible with the new radios and had to be removed. If you are experienced wireless connectivity issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The Conte building is moving to certificate-based wireless authentication system (PSE-SECURE for PSE people as well as guests). If you are not using it, you should transition using these instructions.

PSE-PUBLIC has been turned off. PSE-SECURE1X will be turned off VERY soon. PSE-GUEST has been replaced with ConteGuests for occasional conference/event usage (guest pass page), but if you have individual guests who need short-term access to the network (from 1 hour to 6 months), please create a guest voucher by clicking here.