The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday March 7th

ITS shutdown will impact UNC websites

Students hoping to get some homework done bright and early on Thursday and Friday morning this Fall Break might be disappointed.

Information Technology Services is conducting a network shutdown on Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and on Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.

The shutdown will impact many network services including email, ConnectCarolina, Sakai and all University websites.

The purpose for the shutdown is to replace the chassis, a central piece of hardware in the core network which has not been replaced in six years.

“This is simply a firmware update to stay in maintenance with the vendor,” said Michael Barker, assistant vice chancellor for infrastructure and operations and chief technology officer for ITS.

The chassis provides the power for the network router and allows the boards to communicate, said Jim Gogan, director of networking systems for ITS.

The chassis has not stopped working, but the vendor deemed it in need of replacement.

“Very rarely, if ever, do you have a problem with the chassis itself,” Gogan said.

He said the sole reason for making the upgrade is to ensure ITS can continue to get hardware support from the vendor.

“We always like to make sure that we can call somebody when something breaks.”

The upgrade requires two main high-traffic routers to be shut down while the chassis is being replaced, which is not common.

“This is very rare, but that’s what this update requires,” Barker said.

The upgrade should take about 30 minutes to complete, but ITS is allowing additional time for the system to come back on.

Barker said the department chose to do the update during Fall Break to avoid any major impacts.

“We have to do it, and it’s a matter of picking a time to do it,” he said.

Freshman Taylor Pulley said she doesn’t think the shutdown will be inconvenient.

“I mean, it’s shutting down in the morning and over Fall Break, so it really doesn’t matter,” Pulley said.

The update is covered by the ITS maintenance expense, and the department was able to get replacement chassis at no cost.

“It’s unbelievably rare, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” Barker said.

“We are trying to be as proactive about this as possible.”

Contact the desk editor at university@dailytarheel.

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