IT outage at Auckland University

AUT also affected

Auckland University staff and students appear to have been forced back to pen and paper because of an information technology outage today.

Paul Matthews, chief executive of the Institute for Information Technology Professionals, says all the university's IT services had been knocked offline by of a power failure at the university's main datacentre. He questions why backup systems did not kick in.

The university's external relations office manager, Pramilla Andrew, confirmed there is a problem with the university's IT systems but was unable to transfer calls to staff with more information.

The university's main switchboard number was this afternoon playing a recorded message that informed callers the university was experiencing "system problem" [sic] and then cut off calls.

It is understood the fault is also affecting the Auckland University of Technology, whose systems are hosted by Auckland University. Its website was offline this afternoon.

Auckland University was last year ranked as the country's seventh largest IT user by technology magazine MIS, based on its number of computers.




No disaster recovery for the Universities data centre?
Would love to see more comments about what happened there.

And why does AUT not have an alternate datacentre, or perhaps they put all their eggs in one basket with UofA.

All in all risk management seems poor.



seem to be the archillies heel of data centres...



When Auckland had it's big blackout in the late 90's, heaps of firms suffered generator failure. One aspect that emerged was that many installed generator packages won't run for more than an hour or so without overheating. A package is thrown into a basement somewhere and no thought given to replacing the hot air that emerges from it's radiator.

Another aspect is, and this comes from talking to a guy who maintains emergency generators, is that few are serviced regularily and properly. Also few are tested properly on a regular basis where you ensure the thing will actually start and bring itself onto load.



With no backup data centre,or reliable generator, it looks like the system has been built on the cheap!



As any IT professional will tell you, it comes down to money. If the University IT department had unlimited funding they would have lots more redundancy. It is a balance between cost and risk.

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