Functionality restored to CNM’s servers

Effects of outage felt by students

By Nick Christian

Staff Reporter

After a college-wide network outage that interrupted services to MyCNM, Banner and
Blackboard, service was restored to all CNM Friday Nov. 11 according to CNM’s
Marketing and Communication Office.

One of the students the outage affected was Angelica Sandoval. She said not having
access to Blackboard affected her week.

“I’m a level two nursing student so I watch a lot of the lectures she posts and I’m
studying for exams, and I was just like ‘crap,’” said Sandoval.

A student who can attest to the registration aspect of the outage was Anita
Martinez.

“It was pretty annoying,” said Martinez. “I have to bill something and I have to be
registered by the time the bill goes through.”

The CNM community should not be worried about the information it entrusts on CNM’s
servers according to Information and Technology Services Executive Director Joe
Gieri.

“CNM works with its vendor community to employ state-of-the-art industry standard
best practices for securing CNM’s information network,” wrote Gieri, via email.
“In addition, CNM uses independent firms to perform vulnerability scans on its
network annually.”

Information and Technology Services first became aware of the outage at approximately 3:30
p.m. on Nov. 8, according to Gieri. The primary network switch began bouncing,
Gieri said, meaning it would lose communications then re-establish
communications.

At approximately 3:45 p.m., CNM Network Administrators recognized that the primary
switch was not able to resolve communications problem so they failed network
activity over to the secondary network switch, Gieri wrote.

At approximately 4:40 p.m., the secondary switch experienced a problem which
disabled all network traffic, according to Gieri. At that time, CNM’s Network
staff began steps to replace the network switch with a spare switch. Once the
new switch was reconfigured and network communications were restored, CNM’s
Technology staff began testing the network and all enterprise applications.
Once testing was complete, the Network staff began enabling access at
approximately 9:30 p.m.

“CNM has engineered multiple levels of fault-tolerance into its technology environment with the intent to provide
maximum availability of technology resources to its students, faculty and staff,”
replied Gieri to a question concerning if CNM should be worried about more
outages in the future. “However, on rare occasions, even fault-tolerant devices
experience problems that may impact services.

“It is important to mention that CNM is continuing to invest in additional levels
of technology to further enhance technology availability; such as its newly
built business continuity data center, redundant internet circuits and future
plans for a new fiber distribution loop at its Main campus,” noted Gieri.

One of the effects of the outage was that it changed the way CNM conducted its
registration for the spring semester due to the fact MyCNM was unavailable.
Worried students frequented CNM’s Facebook site Tuesday night with questions
regarding their registration date and time.

The solution CNM came to was to hold reopening registration until Nov. 11 according
to CNM’s website. By doing so they pushed back the dates for those who were
scheduled Tuesday through Friday, effectively holding everyone’s place.

The Nov. 18 deadline for payment in classes was not changed according to the
announcement.

CNM’s spring semester begins Jan. 9, 2012.

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