Most systems are working now. Unfortunately, the current system as rebuilt will require everyone to have their account password reset. It can be reset to the previously used password, but the new system uses a different password encryption method, making the updates necessary. HOWEVER, SOME USERS HAVE REPORTED SUCCESSFUL CONNECTIONS WITHOUT HAVING TO UPDATE THEIR PASSWORD. Please try to connect as usual before requesting a password update. The authentication process after log on may take up to 10 seconds. To have your password reset, send an email message (or have a friend send for you) to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and a phone number where you can be reached; someone will text or call that number within a few days to coordinate the password reset. Let us know in your email if you can't receive text messages.
Several changes have been made to enhance security and performance. Telnet and FTP are not available, as those older services pass usernames and passwords in clear text, unencrypted. Instead, SSH and SCP are used. There are several applications available for this, such as PuTTY for SSH and WinSCP for SCP for Windows, and Fugu for Mac OS X.
IMAP for email uses TLS security, and clients must be configured with TLS for connecting to imap.afn.org for receiving and smtp.afn.org for sending. POP email protocol is no longer available.
We're currently working on getting authentication working again for email. The IMAP server will come and go through the weekend until we get the server and the LDAP directory happy with each other. We're not there yet, but we're getting closer!
Good news! Looks like we've got the web server back! Users should be able to see web pages originating from their public_html directories. Email is still not there, but we're getting closer. Stay tuned!
New servers have been installed and configuration is ongoing. As soon as we can retrieve some configuration files from one of the dead nodes, we ought to have email and web services restored, hopefully within the next day or two.
Once everything is back up and stable, we'll let things be for a few weeks, then schedule a maintenance window to migrate user services and data off the interim server onto the permanent replacement server.
AFN has suffered a series of hardware hassles over the last several days, culminating in several tired servers more or less simultaneously giving up the ghost. This has lent a certain previously lacking urgency to our long standing plans to migrate off off the hodge-podge of elderly scrounged and donated servers.
AFN sysadmins are now engaged in first phase of a multi-step process to move to newer hardware and more recent versions of server software. The interactive, email/fileserver/web, and DNS services are being moved this weekend. Assuming the installation and configruation tasks go smoothly, and the interactive node's user and password files can be recovered relatively painlessly from the dead drives, we should have interactive, email and web services back up by the first part of the week of March 10th.
The next step in the process will be to move the users' home directories onto a much newer, more capable, more reliable fileserver. Once the home directories have migrated, the last phase of the project, migrating services onto the big server will take place. At that juncture, AFN should be on a much better hardware and software footing going forward.
We do apologize for the disruption in service caused by the raft of system issues and their mitigation. We expect the situation to be much improved after we reach the end of the migration project.