University Information Technology is working to fix the Internet connection after students, faculty and staff reported problems with accessing some websites in different buildings around campus yesterday. According to the UIT website, the Internet problems started at 8:25 a.m. Monday. A Subject Matter Expert worked on the issue and found operational problems with some of the UH-hosted Akamai Technologies, Inc. content servers, the UIT website said.Akamai is a content delivery network whose customers include Metacafe, Viacom Media Networks, USA Today and Apple, Inc.
According to the website, SME tried to fix the Akamai servers, but there were no problems with the University’s websites.
There were no problems accessing UH websites like Blackboard or MyUH, said David Johnson, executive director of UH technical service support.
“Our primary firewall was struggling,” Johnson said. “It was acting like it was corrupted in some way.”
According to Johnson, the firewall didn’t simply block all access to non-UH websites, but problems varied from case to case.
“For example, if you were getting your Internet through Wi-Fi, you were having no problems at all,” Johnson said. “It was very difficult to diagnose because of this.”
Because the primary firewall didn’t fail completely, the system never switched to the backup, Johnson said.
“You would have never known there was a problem, it would have seamlessly switched to the backup,” Johnson said. “This is one of those rare times that something breaks in just the right way.”
UH is working with Cisco Systems, Inc. to fix the firewall, Johnson said.
“The beauty of software problems is that when they do go down, you just reload it,” Johnson said.
UH has temporarily switched to the backup firewall, and Johnson said students shouldn’t experience any more problems related to the issue.
“Unless something corrupts the backup firewall, it should be business as usual,” Johnson said. “I don’t anticipate any more problems; I expect things to be rock-solid.”
Edit at 11:30 a.m. SME stands for Subject Matter Expert.