Update on staff MyFiles issues


[18 March 2014]

Update 14:00, 20 March: We have identified significant issues with both the staff and student MyFiles service. This has required us to plan the closure of the MyFiles service for emergency maintenance. Details are provided in a new news item.

The problems seen with the staff MyFiles service over the past few days are ongoing.

[For clarity, this does not apply to taught students and research postgraduates, whose data is stored on the Student MyFiles system].

The University provides a number of different file storage options for staff. MyFiles is not the only option, but it is particularly important as it is available on most staff PCs and on the Remote Desktop.

As many of you will be aware we have had ongoing problems with the staff MyFiles service, and associated issues with PCs using MyFiles. This has largely been caused by an increased demand for storage over the past few months. Work has been taking place to resolve this and we are in the process of rolling out new PC configurations across the University to reduce the dependency on storage.

However, demand for storage has continued to increase and on Friday last week, 14 March, we reached a point where the size of MyFiles was such that we could not properly carry out normal maintenance work. This also resulted in some staff being unable to save documents to MyFiles or to move documents.

It was necessary to close the service between midnight and 2.30am Monday night to fix identified problems. This was done and people reported improvements Tuesday morning. However, this has not resolved the underlying problem with the Staff MyFiles storage system. A further closure occurred Tuesday night between 23:00 and 06:00 to continue the work on the storage.

In order to resolve this we are taking two further actions:

  • We are taking the MyFiles service offline between 11pm tonight (18th March) and 6am tomorrow in order to conduct further disk checks;
  • over the next several days we will be syncing data for some staff from the existing instance of MyFiles to several smaller instances hosted on new hardware. We will do this in batches. This will improve performance both for the people who are moved to the new setup, and those who remain on the previous one.

If you are in the group whose data is being synced to the new system we will send you a specific email asking you to log off your PC and on again. Please do this to ensure that your PC properly connects to the new storage system. You need take no further action as your files will still all appear to be in the same location, even though they are hosted on a different underlying system. Do not be concerned if you do not receive such communications as we will leave some staff on the existing instance.

IT Services apologise for the ongoing problems this has caused.