Senate adds servers to speed up e-mail

Senate adds servers to speed up e-mail

Senators are receiving their e-mail at a steady pace again now that the Senate systems shop has installed four additional mail servers.

Senate e-mail is now handled by 12 servers, a mix of Compaq Computer Corp. systems running Microsoft Windows NT and IMA Gateway mail translation software from International Messaging Associates Ltd. of Hong Kong, said Tracy Williams, director of technology development for the Senate Sergeant at Arms Office.

By the end of the month, the Senate also plans to upgrade eight of its servers to Compaq 866-MHz Pentiums, Williams said.

The Senate's e-mail system slowed to a crawl in January. The trigger seemed to be an influx of e-mail related to President Bush's selection of John Ashcroft as attorney general, Williams said.

No traffic jams

Although the e-mail flow has since slowed, traffic has not returned to the steady level it had been before January, he said.

The Ashcroft confirmation hearing itself generated millions of e-mail messages, Senate staff members said. Some messages were bounced back as undeliverable by the overloaded system, one Republican staff member said.

Senators use Lotus cc:Mail to receive e-mail from their constituents.

But within the next year, senators will begin using Microsoft Exchange, officials said.

The timetable for the upgrade has not been set, but Senate officials said they expect to begin switching to the new mail system by the fall.

The Senate also recently began using a new e-mail routing application from EchoMail Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

Not all Senate offices, however, have the new routing app yet [GCN, Jan. 8, Page 25].

'Tony Lee Orr

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