The myUNB portal experienced an unexpected major outage on Saturday morning, creating a stressful start to the winter examination period.
Students on and off campus were unable to log into the myUNB portal, D2L or other services. According to ITS postings, the outage started at 8 a.m. In a tweet sent by ITS at 9:47 a.m. they forecasted the outage would be resolved by noon.
The myUNB Portal is currently down. We are working on it as quickly as possible and should have it resolved by noon. #UNB
— UNB ITS (@UNB_ITS) April 8, 2017
Many of the services affected often contain information and class notes for studying. Fortunately, ITS resolved the outage ahead of schedule at 11:40 a.m.
David Totton, senior director of IT operations for ITS said by email that the outage this morning was caused by “an unexpected failure of the authentication services (how you log in) for the myUNB Portal and other UNB web services.”
Despite having the authentication service operate in multiple locations for backup Totton said that “unfortunately, the nature of this outage caused all of them to fail simultaneously.”
ITS can’t measure the impact on students. But any obstacles during exam season is extra stressful for students.
“I was already rushed enough with only one reading day to study” said student Dean Vissers.
If the outage had been prolonged, students would not have had access to study material that is often posted on D2L and accessed through the myUNB portal.
“If this outage doesn’t get fixed soon and I still have to write my exam tonight I’m pretty much doomed as far as this class is concerned,” Vissers said.
Even though the outage was short, Alysha-Rae Weekes was forced to cancel a group study session since the materials were unavailable during the time the group was free.
In response to another major outage in the fall of 2015 during regular class time, UNB stated that there was no cancellation policy. A university-wide decision to extend deadlines during a major outage would have to be made by the vice-president academic, in consultation with others such as ITS and the registrar’s office.
At this time we have been unable to contact the university for comment.
Updated at 8 p.m. with ITS and student comments.