Partial network outage affects work at MCCC

Employees working remotely
(From left) Rachel Eagle, Laurel Johnston and Penny Dorcey work in the Student Government room in the S Building Wednesday during the network outage. (Photo by Chris Gossett)

A software update caused a partial internet network outage Wednesday, resulting in some classes being canceled and some faculty moving their work to other places on campus.

Rick Hubbert, Communication Network and system administrator, said the outage was the result of a bug during regular maintenance.

“A routine update of switch firmware that appears to have a bug caused some of them to hang up during a reboot. This led to a widespread loss of connectivity for our local network across multiple buildings,” he said. “It took an extended period of time to troubleshoot the issue and rollback the firmware on each of the 70+ switches on campus. There was no loss to the actual internet.”

Rachel Eagle, administrative assistant to the dean of Humanities and Social Services, and Jimmy LeDuc, dean of Humanities and Social Services, said they adapted to the outage, describing how they went elsewhere to perform their work.

“Once we realized the outage wasn’t campus wide,” Eagle said. “The outage really didn’t affect our work anymore.”

Others did the same.

“We kept hoping it’d come back on,” said Laurel Johnston, administrative assistant to the dean of Science and Mathematics Division, “but eventually we took laptops and moved to the student government room in the A Building.”

Kevin Cooper, dean of Science and Mathematics Division, also had to relocate to finish work.

“I was writing a grant report, and had to move to finish it,” he said. “I always like to have a backup plan.”

Some faculty, however, could not relocate and had to perform other tasks that did not require internet.

“We couldn’t do things with online library systems such as checking out books, but we could still do physical things such as labeling,” said Kayla Richards, technical services assistant at the library. “Once students realized the network wasn’t up, they went elsewhere.”

Kymani Anderson, who works in the Student Services office, also struggled with continuing work.

“We weren’t able to do anything because we all use our computers,” he said, “we couldn’t get anything done, as it’s all through the internet.”

Some areas were unaffected by the network outage. Erika Hunt, administrative assistant to the dean of Business, was able to continue work.

“We had no issues, we were the lucky ones,” she said. “We could work from our stations with no problems.”