The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Fall computer malfunctions get remedies

By Layne Rice/reporter

TCC’s different Web sites — CampusCruiser, WebAdvisor and LogiCampus for distance learning — were down at times throughout the fall, but district personnel have worked to correct the problems.

Wade Couturiaux, distance learning online services manager for LogiCampus, said his system’s going offline had two main causes: power outages on the NE Campus and hardware failure at the beginning of the fall semester.

The hardware failure was found quickly and repaired with new hardware. Couturiaux said such unexpected problems are unavoidable.

The fall semester saw some maintenance, but it was minimal. Some of those downtimes were to implement some enhanced tools and features to LogiCampus. Couturiaux said these downtimes are scheduled during times when the fewest people get on.

The system’s hardware is currently stored on NE Campus.

“It is important to note that these environmental failures, in addition to causing power outages in the areas of Hurst surrounding the NE campus, also affected several other entities beyond distance learning,” Couturiaux said.

Updating software also could cause the system to come down at times, said Mary Robbins, information services associate vice chancellor.

“The software vendor sends updates that have to be applied when no one is using the system,” she said.

As with all kinds of systems, updates are needed to keep up with the changing technologies, Robbins said.

Robbins said downtime would be necessary to protect the equipment and data when cooling or power is not available for any reason.

“Other reasons a site might be down include times when special processing is being done that might be compromised if someone is using the system,” she said.

Couturiaux said most of the interruptions cannot be helped.

“There is really nothing that can be done about preventing unexpected downtimes short of establishing totally redundant failover systems,” he said. “Without redundant systems, impact can be minimized by looking for maintenance windows that will cause the least interruption.”

TCC is considering implementing monthly maintenance windows this semester to help avoid an unplanned system downtime, Couturiaux said.

Depending on their personal and work schedules, students may not be affected by downtimes.

“The downtimes generally do not affect me because I’m usually asleep between the hours of 3 and 5 in the morning,” said Jenny Horsley, a student who uses all three of the school’s Web sites. “The only time it really bothers me is if there is expected maintenance and I can’t get to what I was after right away.”

Students use the different Web sites for several things. Students can check their grades and assignments on CampusCruiser. They use WebAdvisor to register for classes, check their financial aid or obtain transcripts. Distance learning’s LogiCampus includes discussion boards, assignments, tests and quizzes that students take online.

“Our goal is to make LogiCampus as transparent as possible for both students and instructors,” Couturiaux said.

 

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