Prior to 1994, Carnegie Mellon University used the locally-developed and non-standard Andrew Messaging System (AMS) for its email communication needs. Originally written in the early 80s as part of the Andrew Project, it was very advanced for its day. However, it had major scalability issues. It was also desired to move to a standards compliant mail system that met or exceeded the feature set of AMS with an emphasis on disconnected operation and scalability. Scalability was sought both in simultaneous online accesses and large mailboxes.

The Cyrus Project was started at Carnegie Mellon in 1994 to attempt to meet these goals. The following are some documents that date from that era and describe the original goals of the project. As such they may be somewhat out of date.

The first year that all of Carnegie Mellon's incoming freshmen were placed on the Cyrus server was 1998 (class of 2002). In December 2001, bboard access (which had been being mirrored from AMS to Cyrus), was cut over to Cyrus completely. AMS was finally phased out in May 2002.

As development on the project progressed, it became clear that further scalability was required, and additional reliability was desired beyond that which would be provided from a single machine configuration. To meet these goals, the Cyrus "Murder" clustering solution was developed, and after several revisions it was deployed to Carnegie Mellon in the summer of 2002.

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Cyrus Project branch
Preceded by
Andrew Project
Cyrus Project Followed by

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