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NOMAD Is Going Down – Because of One Switch

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
September 18, 2008

Editor’s note: A planned email outage due to an impending natural disaster is one thing. But having an email system for an entire government agency designed such that one part – inside one switch – is a single point failure for the whole system is inexcusable.

From: “Nomad-Outreach” [email protected]
Date: September 17, 2008 10:00:52 AM EDT
Subject: ENMC Activity Affecting NOMAD – Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This notice is being sent to customers with a mailbox located at MSFC. ENMC Activity Affecting NOMAD Replace Defective Part in a Switch

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time: midnight 2 a.m. Eastern / 11 p.m. 1 a.m. Central / 9 p.m. 11 p.m. Pacific

Customers Affected: Customers with a mailbox located at MSFC. The specific centers impacted include HQ, SSC, GSFC, ARC, LaRC, KSC, MSFC, and DFRC.

Systems Affected: Agencywide NOMAD


The Enterprise Network Management Center (ENMC) will be replacing a defective part in a switch. During this 2-hour activity window, you will not be able to send or receive email messages on your desktop, laptop, handheld device (BlackBerry, Treo and Windows Mobile Device) or Webmail (Outlook Web Access – OWA) for 15 30 minutes.

Instant Messaging (IM) will not be impacted. Pin to pin communications and telephone capabilities on your handheld device will not be impacted.

Please be advised that if the card fails prior to the scheduled activity, the part will be replaced immediately which means an outage during normal business hours.

Should you have any questions regarding this activity, please contact the ODIN IT Help Desk at:

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.