IT News

Curative Analysis: ‘Own IT’ Update for November 2016

The Curative Analysis team in IT is tasked with finding the causes of significant IT issues that affect campus. In this news update, we draw your attention to some of the problems being investigated or issues handled recently.

Wireless Devices BroadcastingA sharp increase in wireless devices emitting signals in the residence halls is causing excessive radio noise on the WCU wireless network and preventing some students from being able to connect to the WCU wi-fi.  IT has started a communication campaign to remind students to turn off their wireless devices when not in use.  Announcements have been posted on social media and flyers have been posted in all residence halls.  IT plans to distribute a public service announcement (PSA) video on social media and digital signage and is currently in discussion with other schools in the UNC system who are also facing this issue.  Additional updates will be provided as we make additional progress towards tackling this problem.

Windows OS computer slowness: Reports were received from Faculty and Staff working on WCU computers running the Windows OS of continued slowness in logging into the systems. These reports started shortly after the System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) software was updated with recently released patches from Microsoft.   This update increased the amount of information that SCEP stores when the application scans the computer, which normally occurs on startup. This scan along with the Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) scan being performed was responsible for the decrease in computer performance.

A group of IT analysts and technicians was created to investigate the issue and charged to find a solution. The team made the decision to adopt SCEP as the standard, supported anti-virus solution for WCU and to retire SEP.  Using remote installation tools, IT has installed SCEP on all Windows computers as well as Macs and uninstalled any remaining instances of SEP. For work-at-home and personal use, Avira anti-virus is provided at no cost to all active faculty, staff, and students of WCU by visiting http://avira.wcu.edu.

myWCU Connection to Personal ServicesOn several occasions, faculty, staff, and students reported an error when attempting to log into Personal Services through myWCU.  An increase in registration activity revealed that we were exceeding the number of connections allowed to the system by default. The IT Applications team worked with the UNC-General Administration who hosts the system for us and the vendor, Ellucian, to increase the number of simultaneous connections allowed to the system.  We are continuing to monitor the connections and provide activity information to Ellucian to provide the optimum number of connections.

WCUid Account ManagementOn Monday, November 7, a connectivity issue between Banner and our account management system (Active Directory) caused some WCUid accounts to display another person’s name when accessing WCU resources.  IT analysts put changes in place to the scheduling software and our network to ensure that it does not happen again, and data for all affected accounts was restored by Monday afternoon.

Wireless Connections in Residence HallsStudents have reported issues connecting to wireless access points in some residence halls at times.  A reset of the wireless access point quickly resolves the issue.  However, closer diagnosis reveals that the issue is with a particular model of wireless access point located in some residential buildings on campus.  Networking analysts have opened a case with the vendor, Aruba, and are currently collecting and providing activity data for identifying and resolving this intermittent issue.

November 2016
Global Problems: (Total 14)
Business Systems (myWCU, Personal Services, help.wcu.edu): 9
WCU Wireless Network: 3
GradesFirst: 1
WCUid:  1
The Division of IT is committed to adopting a proactive, process-oriented approach to prevent problems before they arise. We will continue to keep you informed on our progress.