Wireless service was disrupted in two separate instances yesterday, once at 1 a.m. and again at approximately 2 p.m. According to Director of User and Technical Services Karen Warren, the disruption was due to a firmware problem with the wireless controller hardware.

“At this point, we are not certain why the hardware experienced issues,” Warren wrote in an email to The Argus. “It was at the firmware level and we made some configuration changes.  It was not necessary to replace the hardware at this point.”

According to a campus-wide email, the early morning outage left students without wireless access from 1 a.m. to 4:10 a.m. Students were still able to access the Internet through an Ethernet cable, but due to the stress of the added traffic, Internet speed slowed to a crawl. For the afternoon outage, Information Technology Services (ITS) was able to get service restored within an hour.

“We do think the two incidents are related, although the nighttime outage had an additional manifestation in that the wired network experienced excessive traffic that slowed services to a near halt in many locations,” Warren wrote.

ITS is staying alert for any further problems and is currently working with network consultants to determine the root cause of the outages.

According to Warren, she was notified of wireless problems yesterday night by calls from Public Safety and the ITS Helpdesk. After having Helpdesk Co-Head Manager Paul Linton ’11 verify that the problem was campus-wide, she assembled her staff in a chat room to troubleshoot the problem.

“We [met] online in a chat room designed for this purpose. We established remote connections in and troubleshoot to resolution,” Warren wrote. “On April 11, we were online for over three hours in the middle of the night until we had services running…During those sessions, if need be, we would dispatch someone to campus.  We did not need to this time.  In many cases, there is not much that cannot be done or analyzed remotely. ”

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