Government Publishing Office (GPO) Server Crashes

The following message was cross-posted today on two email lists (FDLP-L and GOVDOC-L). This makes me wonder if this was due to an intentional Cyber attack or to technology malfunction:

Since last Monday (August 24th), when the PURL server suffered a significant hardware failure, GPO staff has been working at the highest level of priority to re-establish server access.

Though the hardware configuration was restored, GPO has worked continuously, including this past weekend, to restore the system software configurations for this legacy application. Thus far this has resulted in re-established access to a small percentage of PURLs. Although back-ups of critical files ensured no loss of data, the reconfiguration of the software on the new server is still being enabled. GPO’s approach is to properly construct a new configuration and to restore all the PURLs to enable use of the automated resolution process. GPO recognizes the criticality of having stable and redundant systems to access online content for the information community.

GPO knows that many institutions have automated URL checkers that run against the PURL server. Please be aware that the PURL restoration process is severely slowed by checkers repeatedly hitting the PURL server.

On- and off-site redundant back-up of all critical hardware and systems is and will continue to be performed by GPO. Additionally, GPO is exploring hosted services and expansion of real time failover capability. GPO is also finalizing requirements for migrating legacy applications, like PURLs, to FDsys for later system capability releases. Once FDsys is fully enabled, GPO will have migrated into a more modern and scalable/failover infrastructure.

The New Electronic Titles (NET) service will be delayed until the PURLs resolve properly. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused by the PURL server outage. Additional postings will be made to keep the community informed as restoration of the server progresses.

If you have questions or comments, please use the askGPO help service
at: When submitting a question,
please choose the category “Federal Depository Libraries” and the
appropriate subcategory, if any, in order to ensure that your question
is routed to the correct area.


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on September 1, 2009, in Libraries, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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