Recent Wi-Fi Outage Leads to Improvements

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UCA Information Systems and Technology is making changes to improve the network following an incident that left some users unable to register their devices to the network.

“All of this initially ran off of one server,” said Director of IT Infrastructure Scott Weaver. “What we have done is we have moved this to where it’s running off of three separate servers that have access to the data in the background to a common storage location.”

Weaver said this will allow the team to easily move functions between servers should one of them start acting erratically.

IST also said that the probability of all three servers going down at once is low.

IST discovered on Jan. 26 that users could not register new devices to the network. They then received calls and posts on Jan. 29 that Wi-Fi was out in residence halls.

Weaver said that this prompted IST to set up a temporary wireless network called “UCAwirelessTEMP.” A campus-wide email was also sent out notifying students that complimentary Ethernet cables were available at the help desk.

On Feb. 2, IST sent out an email notifying students that the issues had been resolved.

Technical Writer and Trainer Roger Gelwicks helped communicate to students during the outage using twitter using the handle @UCAinfotech.

“We didn’t know what the timeline was going to be…[other IST staff]were all communicating with me about what I needed to say,” Roger said.

Roger also said they were wanting to be clear they had identified the problems and were working on it considerably, while also reiterating that this was not something they wanted to happen.

Weaver said that internally, they use a lot of acronyms and jargon.

“We know what a VM (virtual machine) host is, so we just say VMhost. We take what we want to send out and we send it to Roger,” Weaver said.

He said Roger will take the information that IST is wanting to communicate and decide what parts of it needs explanations.

Chief Information Officer Mike Lloyd said Roger turns what they want to say into “human speak.”

Because the issues started on the eve of Bear Facts Day, IST made the internet open access, which allowed people to connect to the internet without registering their device.

Network Engineer Jeremy Bullock, Systems Administrator Ricky Green, Wireless Network Engineer Casper Zimmerebner, Lead Network Engineer Wayne Lunsford and Lead Systems Administrator Phillip Arnold were all touted as being instrumental in getting wireless internet back online.

Photo courtesy of the UCA website.

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Brody Arnold grew up in small town northern Arkansas. He developed a passion for video games and video editing at a young age, and would like to write articles and produce videos for a gaming news site. He also plays drums and can make some mad mac 'n' cheese.

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