A water pipe broke Jan. 5 and flooded the Ryan Administration Building damaged networking equipment and resulted in slower network connections. The connections will return to their original speed and capacity by Feb. 1, according to a University Information Services official.
At approximately 2 a.m., nearly two feet of water flooded the area which houses essential computer network equipment, according to Chris Anderson, the Student Technology Services Manager.
The flood damaged and destroyed several important components such as university networking and telecommunications equipment.
UIS engineers and employees restored most of the services lost within 48 hours by replacing key electronic parts and rerouting several telephone numbers, Anderson said.
The equipment damage disrupted up to 60% of the phone service of the main campus, the Medical Center and other off-site locations. Additionally, internet connectivity throughout the campus and at off-campus locations was upset. Local area network connections to file and print services on-campus, connectivity to university core services and GUMail have been disrupted, according to a description of the damage on the UIS website.
The damages cost the university approximately $140,000 in replacement costs, according to the Office of Risk Management.
The damaged equipment has been temporarily replaced with older, slower equipment. The university has ordered the necessary parts from its supplier, CISCO. They are scheduled to arrive by the end of January.
When the parts arrive, UIS will schedule a brief network outage to restore the network to normal operating capacity, Anderson said.
Until the new parts are installed students should expect slow connections and should limit internet use to essential applications and research, said Anderson.
Concern about the vulnerability of the centralized networking and telecommunications systems caused the university to begin a long term process of decentralization several years ago to prevent the possibility of a disaster, such as this month’s outage, said Anderson.
The decentralization process is tentatively scheduled for completion by the end of the year. It will create several important hubs for critical equipment rather than the single switch room that exists now.