‘Flood’ of server traffic interrupts connectivity

by Laura Mortkowtiz

A campuswide network problem affected everyone on the Lawrenceville campus yesterday. Beginning around 1 p.m., the intermittent problems were “a result of a device flooding the network with traffic,” said Carol Kondrach, associate vice president of information technologies.

Anyone attempting to log onto a server, Blackboard or e-mail might have been unable to do so.

“It was affecting the servers that authenticate who you are,” said Tim Fairlie, director of OIT networks and communications. “E-mail wasn’t exactly down — people just couldn’t get to it.”

Despite the inability to log into e-mail, people were still able to use the Internet. According to Fairlie, because the problem was coming from inside campus, it affected certain servers, but not the Internet.

Jessica Jesse, a sophomore who was in class in one of the Fine Arts journalism labs, was negatively impacted by the network problems.

“I tried to sign onto the computer and it wouldn’t let me,” Jesse said. “It took at least five minutes. Then InDesign [a layout program] took about 10 minutes to open, so it was frustrating because I had to do my homework and wasn’t able to.”

Jesse’s class was cancelled  due to the network problems.

Sophomore Rachel Volinsky was also in a journalism lab when the network crashed.

“The computers kept freezing and I couldn’t finish working on my project at the end of class,” she said. “It was really inconvenient.”

Cranberry’s was also affected during the intermittent problems. Senior Mike DeRosa said the kiosks and registers were both offline because they were attached to the network.

“They couldn’t swipe IDs or credit cards,” he said. “It really unfairly affected the cashier. She had to do the math by hand. It was ridiculous because they could have given her a calculator, which isn’t hard to find, or let her use her cell phone.”

After tracing the problem, OIT was able to shut down what they thought was the cause, and as of 6 p.m. the network seemed to be back to normal.

“[OIT] isolated the problem and took the device off the network,” Kondrach said.

Fairlie said that there are measures to prevent network problems, but since Rider’s network is so big, it’s hard to stop every single problem.

“We believe we isolated the problem, but there are always residual problems,” Kondrach said.

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