Only NASA Would Create a Zero Fault Tolerant Email System

NASA NOMAD: Email Services Being Stopped at Johnson Space Center (JSC)

"Email, Calendaring, and Outlook Web Access (OWA) services will be stopped today in preparation for hurricane IKE for all customers located on the JSC servers. Customers located primarily at the following centers will be not be able to send or receive email messages.

1. Glenn Research Center (GRC)
2. White Sands Test Facility (WSTF)
3. Johnson Space Center (JSC)
4. NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC)
5. Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)

If you attempt to send messages to impacted customers, located primarily at the above Centers, your message will not be delivered until the email services are restarted."

Editor's note: I had to re-read this message several times to make sure that I understood the sheer idiocy it contains. Whoever designed this IT infrastructure for NASA should be fired. A month ago a power outage at Redstone Arsenal caused a NOMAD shut down. I thought that was a dumb IT set up. Well, now we learn that some genius decided to make the NASA NOMAD email system zero fault tolerant for natural disasters - and place email serves in a hurricane prone location - with no back up.

Here is how it seems to work: a hurricane threatens JSC - so NASA shuts off email and other services to a large chunk of the agency. Why? Because NASA deliberately set the system up such that other NASA centers - some of which are thousands of miles away and poised to offer assistance and keep the rest of the agency operating - have their email and other services routed out of JSC - and only JSC (or so it would seem). A few critical users have some service, but everyone else is out of luck for at least 48 hours. Would any self-respecting, profitable, commercial communications company do something as silly as this? No. They'd never stay in business. Only NASA would come up with such a flawed and stupid plan.

It looks like NASA learned nothing from either Katrina or 9-11.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 14, 2008 11:48 PM.

Patsy Douglass Webb was the previous entry in this blog.

JSC Turned NOMAD Back on for Half of the Agency is the next entry in this blog.

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