NEWS

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February 16, 2007

NSIT improves University e-mail storage

Anyone using a cMail account will now have up to one gigabyte to store e-mails.

Networking Services and Information Technologies (NSIT) has increased University e-mail storage capacity by more than 230 percent over the previous quota of 300 megabytes. The change brings the U of C in line with peer institutions such as the University of Virginia.

Students, staff, and faculty will continue to be able to store what they want for as long as they want. Now, however, University members can store more files with larger size requirements, such as audio and video.

Bob Bartlett, director of Enterprise Network Services and Security, and Therese Allen-Vassar, senior director of Client Relations, oversaw much of the upgrade. After looking at other schools’ experiences, NSIT decided it had the technological capacity to make the quota increase.

According to Allen-Vassar, some caution was necessary before any changes were made. “When you add more space to the system, you have to be cautious, you don’t want to overload the system,” she said. “We did not have the capacity in our machines to do the upgrade before. The service would have been too slow.”

At a cost of approximately $100,000, Bartlett said that NSIT doubled the size of the University’s disk capacity in a month-long process that made the e-mail upgrade feasible.

Overall, the ultimate impetus for the upgrade was student and staff feedback.

“We pay attention to the NSIT Student Advisory Committee,” said Allen-Vassar, describing the role of the Student Government committee. “There was a big request from student and faculty saying ‘I need more space.’ We really respond to our client base, the University.”

Fourth-year Donny Copeland, the Student Government vice president for Administration, called the upgrade a “great” move by NSIT. “It’s a good thing. It’s not like we wanted 2 GB and they only gave us 1 GB,” he said.

“[The upgrade] will help a lot of students, especially incoming students. I’m glad NSIT made the change.”

Even though the vast majority of cMail users never reach the quota level, according to Bartlett, there was a demand from some heavy users for the greater capacity.

“We’ve gotten a general thumbs-up from the community. I did receive one funny note from a user, saying, ‘please say this isn’t a mistake.’ People are pretty happy with the decision,” Allen-Vassar said.

NSIT employees said the student and faculty responses have been entirely favorable.

“We have a lot of projects going on at NSIT, but the quota upgrade is one people were really happy about. There are usually complaints about any project, but this is one where we’ve heard no complaints,” Bartlett said.