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Further Details on Data Loss

 

WordPress suffered an outage from around 2pm on June 20 to around 1:45 on June 21. The outage revolved around the volume where the WordPress application and uploaded user files (images, PDFs, etc. NOT posts) are stored.

Although WordPress is available now, any images (or other files) uploaded since April 15 (actually, between April 15 and sometime on June 20) have been lost. You will see evidence of this on pages with missing images, and if you look at your Media Library you will see blank boxes instead of  images.

To restore your images, you need to re-upload them, keeping the same names. They will then re-appear on your pages.

If you created a NEW site after April 15 and it appears to be missing, please contact cu-blogs-admin@columbia.edu and we will help you re-create it.

If you did not upload any images or other files during this period, you don’t need to worry.

The source of the problem actually dates back to mid-April when we moved WordPress to new hardware. A mistake was made and the application was left using a temporary volume to store uploads — this is a standard procedure for these hardware migrations, but we normally switch back to the “real” volume before making the service available to users. In this case, a mistake was made and this switch-back didn’t occur. This caused no issues until this week, when the temporary volume was removed because nobody was supposed to have been using it.

We cannot apologize enough for this mistake, and want you to know that we’ve put safeguards in place to make sure this can’t happen again.

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