ASULearn outages due to bug in system

Chelsey Fisher

The recent ASULearn outages last week were due to a disruption in the Storage Area Network System, Director of ASULearn Steve Breiner said.

The ASULearn system was updated over fall break. During the first routine maintenance after the update, a hard drive was replaced, which initiated a bug in the system, Director of IT Infrastructure David Hayler said.

Replacing hard drives is a “fairly common practice” since they are used so much, which causes them to break, Hayler said.

The SANS used for ASULearn currently holds about 350 hard drives, Hayler said.

There are two SANS locations currently. Usually, when one has problems, the other one will start, causing no problems in usage, Breiner said. The two locations constantly sync with one another to prevent a disruption in services, he said.

However, the bug initiated last week temporarily disabled the two locations to sync, causing the program to completely shut down.

“We then tried to restart the system,” Breiner said. “But the system didn’t allow the program to restart.”

However, last Sunday’s outage was not due to the bug, Breiner said.

This outage was due to “too many people hitting the server at the same time,” Breiner said.

“The server had not seen this kind of load before,” Breiner said. “A lot of extra people were hitting it. It was clearly a setting issue.”

The recent disruptions caused biology professor James Barbee to postpone his exam.

Barbee uses ASULearn to post common files, lectures, clips, videos, weblinks and other material, he said.

“For my class, it’s very important,” Barbee said.

Barbee said his entire class is not online, because he likes meeting with students and enjoys class time. However, for him, ASULearn is a “good way” to give all information to all students at the same time, he said.

ASULearn has worked properly for two and a half years, Breiner said.

Barbee has used ASULearn for several years, and said he has no complaints about ASULearn.

“They’re pretty reliable and flexible,” Barbee said. “It’s just the nature of the system.”

“We are certainly sorry for the disruption,” Breiner said. “We want to avoid taking the system down, but sometimes technology breaks.”

Story: CHELSEY FISHER, News Editor