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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Campus

Internet back up, switch to new firewall to occur during weekend


Campus Internet access was spotty Monday after the main UH firewall malfunctioned at approximately 8 a.m.

The Internet is now running smoothly, but it is operating on a backup firewall instead of the primary system, said David Johnson, executive director of Technological Services and Support.

“The firewall was not functioning properly,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t fully offline so it didn’t switch to the back-up. When we put it onto the backup, it started working again, and we are now currently operating on the backup. The manufacturers rushed a replacement, and we have it on site.”

When the new primary firewall comes online some time during the early morning this weekend, there will be a brief break in Internet access. There will be ample notification before the night the disruption will occur, Johnson said.

“The replacement is here and will be installed in the wee hours of morning. After we install it, there will be a brief outage when we transfer over,” Johnson said.

Most repairs occur during select periods of time called maintenance windows, which are segments of the day with low traffic or usage. Johnson said that the switchover will probably occur sometime this weekend.

“We have maintenance windows that we use during the week,” Johnson said. “We use these windows to do work that might bring something down. In this case, it will be in the middle of the night so there is less impact.”

The cause of the disturbance is unknown, Johnson said, but it probably has to do with a software malfunction rather than out-of-date hardware.

“We don’t have the report back from Cisco Systems Inc. to say what it was. They sent us the new one and we sent back the old one. They will look into it and investigate,” Johnson said.

“Firewalls are basically small computers and they run software just like any computer. The software probably developed a glitch that caused intermittent problems.”

In the future, Technological Services and Support will issue more accessible and clear reports when communicating Internet and technology issues to students, Johnson said.

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