COLUMBIA – MU's Division of Information Technology is updating the e-mail systems for students and faculty this summer, which will greatly increase storage space and improve recovery of files.
Students will switch to Microsoft Office Outlook Live, and faculty will upgrade from Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, said Terry Robb, IT director of marketing and communications.
Outlook Live will increase students’ storage quota from 40 MB to 10 GB. Storage quota for faculty and staff will increase to 2 GB when the new e-mail system is in place.
Outlook Live allows students to use instant messaging features and some blogging tools, in addition to increased storage space. Students also will be able to keep their e-mail addresses forever, no longer losing them after graduation.
Student e-mail addresses will also become @mail.mizzou.edu, instead of @mizzou.edu. Robb said students have to transfer existing e-mail messages to the new service themselves, but IT will publish instructions.
In addition to extra storage space, faculty will also receive an updated disaster recovery system for files, using redundant, off-campus data storage with high-speed access, according to IT’s Web site.
David Crain, IT director of systems and operations, said with the current system it would take hours for e-mail service to restore information. The new system, he said, would greatly reduce the time factor.
“The back-up system will be up and running in minutes with everything if something happened,” Crain said. “It’s a big step up from a disaster recovery stand-up as well as the storage quotas.”
Robb said a change of this nature is standard procedure for IT.
“Every three to five years, we look to evaluate our applications for major version changes,” he said.
He said storage space is easier to supply now than it was when the current e-mail system was first installed.
“The real issue with storage was it was really expensive,” Robb said. “It has gotten increasingly cheaper over the years, so it allows us to increase the quota.”
IT already has the equipment necessary for a conversion to Exchange 2007 for faculty and staff by June or July.
Students’ migration to their system depends on when Microsoft will allow the conversion.
Crain said he was confident that students could begin the switch right after the current semester ends, ending by early summer. He said the worst-case scenario for students’ migration is right before the fall semester begins.
“In the past, because the e-mail quota was so small, they would have a primary e-mail, but they still have to check their student e-mail and forward messages,” Crain said.
“Now, students will be more likely to use their new e-mail because it is an address that they can use forever and the larger e-mail box.”