Letters to the Editor: January 24 – 30, 2013

 GMHS Should Focus on Existing Computer Systems


As a very strong supporter of the independence of the Falls Church School Board, I also feel that the latest fiasco with the George Mason High School server being down is also their responsibility. With the low cost for backup systems and ease that modern server software allows users to set up backups and restore systems, there is no excuse for the system to be down for a week and cause a disruption of mid-term finals for GMHS.

GMHS students, teachers, and administrator have become increasingly dependent on the computer access for class information, study information, updates, grades, and, especially critical for seniors, providing transcripts, grades and letters to colleges. There has been a continued problem with accessing GMHS’s website before Christmas and now the server is/was down completely. To not have a full backup and restoration setup, especially with the reliance on the server by GMHS, was a failure a management and oversight.

You no longer need to have a degree in computer science to setup, maintain, and use a server and a full backup system. The tools to have real-time, redundant hard drives, and a real-time backup server with the ability to “cut-over” with little loss of information and time are all included in products such as Server 2005 and 2008. In fact, many agencies use virtual backups located in third party server “farms” with no need to have the physical system.

If the GMHS server system cannot take advantage of these options, that is an even worse indictment of the lack of management and foresight in this critical application. I supported the need of the FCCSB needing their money for technology upgrades but who knew they had so neglected the backbone of the system. Maybe instead of the shiny new toys they got, some of that money should have been spent ensuring that the server, and the critical applications it supported, we up for the job.

Michael Baker

Falls Church


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