OSCAR, T-Square systems experience outages

Students, faculty and staff were exposed to several delays last week when trying to access vital campus resources such as OSCAR and T-Square, causing frustration and anxiety for students waiting to register for classes.

The online Student Computer Assisted Registration (OSCAR) system provided slow service to students on Aug. 14, the first day of Phase II registration. Campus departments were also unable to access OSCAR, preventing them from adding or modifying sections or providing course permits and overloads to students requesting them. Buzzport and other campus resources dependant on the OSCAR system for information were also affected adversely. Course schedules on Buzzport were listed incorrectly for several hours following the incident.

While most campus resources experience a heightened load during registration, it was generally acknowledged by members of the campus community that the outage that occurred last week was severe and untimely. The outage lasted only a few hours, but during that time students were left distressed wondering whether they would be able to register for classes. The delays seem to have been sporadic, as some students were unaffected by the problems.

The Office of Information Technology pinpointed the problem to a single server that was part of the OSCAR system and took it off service, after which service speeds returned to normal levels.

“An in-depth investigation by OIT is underway to look at all the possible sources of the problem. Once that report is delivered to the users from OIT, further discussions will occur and a plan will be developed [for the future],” said a representative from the Registrar’s Office and Enrollment Serivices.

T-Square, the campus collaboration and learning environment used by students and faculty was also down last week. The system was out of service from approximately 9:10 AM to 11:20 AM on Monday, August 17. The problem with T-square was caused due to a corrupted database file. Teams attempted to fix the problem by trying to fix the file, but to no avail.

Once it was discovered that the corrupted database file could not be repaired, the work was begun to restore the database from backup and bring it back to functioning status. This process was the most time consuming of the whole ordeal.

“While we wish that we wouldn’t have problems in the first place, part of my hope for the future is that the technical team will continue to respond as effectively as it did last week when problems do emerge,” said Clay Fenlason, the Director of Educational Technologies.