IT News

Curative Analysis: ‘Own IT’ for April 2017

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.

Classwork VM Pool for VCATOn several occasions, faculty, staff, and students reported an error when attempting to log into the Classwork VM Pool from http://vcat.wcu.edu:  “The desktop sources for this desktop are not responding. please try connecting to this desktop again later, or contact your system administrator”.  Further analysis revealed a unit of storage was causing some corruption of system files that were needed to boot-up the desktops.  IT personnel, working with the VMWare vendor were swiftly able to move the Classwork pool to another unit of storage.  It was also revealed that the firmware required an update to resolve the issue.  IT staff updated the firmware on all of the VM hosts, which quickly resolved the issue.  A budget request has been made to replace the older storage units to prevent further occurrences of this issue.

WCUid ManagementRecently, some WCU employees who have applied to become students have encountered an issue.  In some cases, the employee WCUid has been overwritten when the student WCUid is created.  This problem has caused some employees to lose access to some university IT services.  We have a workaround in place to quickly revert any changes that have been made to the employee WCUid.  To prevent the issue from occurring in the future, IT Security Analysts have developed a new method of creating student WCUids for employees who have an active WCUid.  The new method is currently being tested in our development system, and we plan to move it into our production system in April 2017.

Banner INB and Personal ServicesRecently, some faculty, staff, and students were unable to access certain hosted Banner resources such as Banner INB and Personal Services.  Clients received an error: FRM-93121: Cannot find environment variable configuration file wcprod.env. In preparation for the April 5th outage and ongoing improvement process, the vendor, UNC-GA, took necessary actions that required synchronization between the UNC-GA and WCU system. It was decided to use a more efficient method for the synchronization. During the configuration changes, the WCU the synchronization process wasn’t completed before the next actions were started. This caused an unforeseen reaction of the WCU sync process. The hosting  team noticed the change, then took quick and decisive restoration actions. In reacting quickly the production down situation was very short and the changes to WCU were corrected and any production issues were quickly rectified. Appropriate updates have been made to the vendor’s operational procedures to mitigate this issue in the future.

April 2017
Problem Tickets: (Total 5)

Banner INB and Personal Services: 1
Networking: 1
SharePoint Online:  1
WCUids for Applicants: 1
myWCU:  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.