Monica Szakacs, News Writer:
Frustrated seniors, athletes and honors college members faced registration problems that were caused by a back end database processor crash. Jason Rizk, senior community recreation and youth development major, said he figured the server was busy.
“I kept trying and trying and it didn’t work,” said Rizk who is also a community coordinator at Hickerson Hall. “So I came down to use the computer in the office, tried both computers multiple times and didn’t work. I tried from 6:01 to 7:40 and then I went to class.”
In the middle of Rizk’s psychology class, he said a student said Southern posted on its Facebook page that the problem was caused from a system crashing around 5:00 a.m.
“It really didn’t have much to do with all the people signing in,” said Rizk. “It was more or less an uncommon error that just unfortunately had to happen, but it was back up and running.. I called my mom and she was able to register all my classes for me.”
Amber Lake, elementary education and studio photography major, said she first tried registering at 6:00 and her registration pin went through, but when she pressed submit for her classes she said the system waited 20 minutes and then a message popped up and kicked her out. According to Lake, it took her until 8:30 to get the classes she wanted.
“I went on Facebook to see if people could get in and everybody was saying their access was denied too, so I kept trying and trying,” said Lake. “There must be a more sufficient way to update the system because it’s lagging behind. It’s such a frustrating process that you dread the day you sign up for classes.”
Wendy Chang, chief officer of Information Technology (IT), said the cause of the backend crashing was because of one patch they installed in previous weeks. The patch had a conflict with corresponding to the processor, according to Chang, and she said it is now fixed.
Even though the back end processes stopped working, the BannerWeb system continued running. When students logged into BannerWeb at 6:00 and started registering, requests from students were accepted and transmitted to a queue. When the back end works, the queue requests are processed, but in this situation the requests in the queue did not go anywhere. Eventually the space filled and later around 7:00 BannerWeb crashed.
“That’s when the server administrator was notified and looked into it and found it was the back end database,” said Chang. “We do have support from the Connecticut State University System office. We were able to get a hold of one of the database administrators in the office and ask that administrator to help us diagnose the problem and fix it.”
Usually in the past, Chang said the database administrator that resigned would be up early on registration day so she would be prepared if something gone wrong. She would get warnings, which are sent straight to administrator cell and home phones.
Before this past Monday, according to Chang, the CSUS database administrator was informed about the second large wave of student registrations that happened on Monday for juniors. Chang said he agreed to wake up for 6:00 and be alert.
“What we did was set it up that if anything is wrong with the back end database processes,” said Chang, “the database administrator at the systems office would get a notified warning and then they would contact us.”
Even though there is someone at the systems office that is alert during the times of registration, Chang said they are looking to hire someone as the new database administrator for Southern. This is a key position they want to fill, but she said it might take several months because it took eight months to hire the last administrator.
“I think it is tough to run a 24-7 operation with very limited staff,” said Chang. “With our operation, we only have one slot for database administrator, and that’s a lot of responsibility for one individual to stay alert 24-7, but we have many, many areas that are like that.”
Rizk said a lot of students should take a step back and realize they are working hard because it’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is to run an IT lab.
“We don’t have a billion dollar budget to have the best internet system,” said Rizk. “Honestly, I don’t agree with everyone freaking out on facebook and writing all negative things on Southern’s page.”
Chang said the department as a team relies on one individual in each area, such as a network administrator and a web server administrator. There is no temporary assistance if that individual happens to be away for vacation or quits. Unfortunately, Chang said IT is in a situation that they cannot financially support.
“So in many areas we don’t have any back up,” said Chang. “Over the years we just came to except that if anything happens then that’s a risk we have to except.”
Processor caused registration problems
Monica Szakacs, News Writer: