Category Archives: Faculty Computing

Update: Harvard PIN System Down

The Harvard PIN system is currently having problems. This will affect access to, the HSPH Publisher and anything with an HUID/PIN login. Harvard University Information Technology is working on this and we will send out an email when it is resolved.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may be causing.

IT Helpdesk

** UPDATE from Harvard PIN **

To users of all administrative systems (Oracle, CREW, PeopleSoft, HUBS, GMAS, HirBERT, Brio, Hyperion, CAADS):

At 10:45 the 60 Oxford Street data center experienced a firewall issue that interrupted connectivity. This did affect PIN authentication and HU-LDAP as well as other applications.

Although systems including PIN and HU-LDAP have recovered, some lingering issues have been observed. We have been notified that there might be some additional network instability as the troubleshooting continues. This could result in some intermittent PIN and HU-LDAP service interruptions. Users should be aware that while they can log into systems, they may experience some interruptions throughout the afternoon.
This message will be updated later as more information becomes available.

We appreciate your patience as work through this issue.

NotifyLink Upgrade Today

Update (5/4 @ 1 PM): Our notifylink upgrade is complete. All iPhone users should be receiving mail normally now.

To all iPhone users syncing to the groupwise system, we will be upgrading our syncing software tomorrow (5/4) at 10am.  This upgrade will allow new features and give our Verizon iPhone users the ability to connect.

Starting at 10am you will not be able to send/receive emails on your iPhone. This is expected to last approximately 5 hours or less.  Your groupwise account (and groupwise web access) will not be affected during this time period and you can still use it normally.

No action is required on your part after the upgrade. After the upgrade is complete all emails received with automatically sync up with your phone.

Please call the helpdesk if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Need a short link? Try

We are proud to announce the lauch of a new link shortener service specifically for the HSPH community and its website. This service is called

We can now offer you a way create very short links that point to longer links. A basic example is redirects you to


What is a link shortener?

Wikipedia defines it as:

…a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL aka link) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL.

Who else uses link shorteners?

  • Harvard Gazette –
  • Twitter –
  • Google –
  • New York Times –

Why would I use over other free services?

  1. Safe Links and Browsing – When your readers see a or links it is hard to tell whether the website they will be redirected to is going to be a reputable one. Since only allows links your readers can feel safe when clicking on your short links.
  2. Long Term Use and Support – At any time Twitter and Google can choose to discontinue this service and if you are using theirs then your short links are gone. Since is run by the Information Technology Department we can ensure length of the service and can address issues related to it more quickly.

How do I shorten my links?

All you need to do is head over to and paste in any link to get your short link. For more information please visit the terms of use page.

Server Maintenance on Thursday, March 15, 2012

On Thursday, March 15, 2012, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers and network equipment.

The maintenance window will last from 7:00 PM til 1:00 AM.

The following services will have one or two small outages:
(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

The following services will be unavailable from 7PM to 10:30PM:

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window:

  • HPCC system

Future maintenance windows are scheduled for Thursday nights from 7PM to 1AM on the following dates:

UPDATE: PIN System Outage

We recieved the following notification from the University Information Systems’ Directory Services department about the PIN System.

Our monitors picked up an outage on the PIN system at 10:42 AM this
morning.  At this point we believe that just one of our PIN servers is
unavailable and that users connecting to the other servers or making new
connections to the PIN system should be successfully authenticating.
However, connections to the failed server will remain cached on machines
for 5 minutes from their previous attempt to login.  The PIN team is
actively working the issue with NSS to resolve the problem and hope to
bring the failed server back online ASAP.

I apologize for the inconvenience this is causing your customers.  More
details on the outage will be made available as soon as we have them.

Stay tuned for further updates.
Update on February 23, 2011:

Dear Customers,
The PIN system has been fully functional since 12:08 PM.  We continue to investigate the root cause and ensuing impact of the partial outage and slowness of the service.  At no time was the PIN service fully down, but the reduced capacity, very high traffic, and the resulting slow response were, understandably, construed as an outage by many.
Here’s what we know:At 10:42 our monitors alerted us to a problem on one of our production PIN servers At 10:44 we had taken that PIN server off the content switch so traffic was going to other PIN servers At 10:56 the misbehaving server was restarted, looked healthy, and was placed back on the content switch. At 11:33 we saw the same PIN server having problems and pulled it off the content switch again. At 12:08 having bounced the box, and the software components on it we put the server back online and the service has been stable since.
Customers would have experienced issues with PIN around 10:42 AM and experienced “problems” with the PIN service until 12:12 PM (1:20 hrs).  Here are some of the things that complicated connectivity for end-users:We were seeing loads on the PIN service that we haven’t seen in years.  We are investigating this, but suspect that helpdesks contributed to this load as they “tested” connectivity. The load overwhelmed the crippled service when the errant machine was pulled off the switch making it REALLY slow (with a number of timeouts) which some users reported as an outage (which it was to them).
Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience this caused you and your customers.  We continue to investigate the root cause of this problem and any information that you can add to this would be helpful.   As always, please contact me should you have any questions.

Network Outage

This afternoon the HSPH network was down for approximately 15 minutes.  A faulty piece of hardware was connected to a network jack which caused a loop. We quickly identified the hardware, disconnected it, reset the network and restored network services. We are working with HSPH/UIS network engineers to put in safeguards to prevent this issue from happening in the future.

The network is now fully functioning.

If you are still experiencing any network connectivity issues, please reboot your computer.  If this does not alleviate the issue, please contact the Helpdesk for assistance at 617-432-HELP.

Thank You,
HSPH Information Technology