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Memorial Day power outages

The University campus experienced two power outages on Monday, May 27 that affected network and computing services. 

The first outage started at 1:38 p.m. and lasted until 5:06. It took an additional hour to restore web, email, Banner and other IT services once power returned.

Power was lost again at 8:30 p.m. and restored at 10:45 p.m. The cause of the power outages – a failed electrical connection between the University Center and Main Hall – was discovered after the second incident and repairs were completed shortly after midnight. Many important IT-related services were returned by 1:45 a.m., although work to restore all services lasted throughout Tuesday morning, May 28.

Scott Holgate restarts the UPS

Scott Holgate, manager of IT's telecommunications and infrastructure, goes through the UPS restart procedure after the first of two campus power outages on Memorial Day. 

Why were IT services disrupted?

Some IT services, mainly related to networking equipment hosted in the Social Sciences building, remained available during the power outage because of battery backups and a generator. IT services hosted in the Liberal Arts building had to be powered down because battery backups could not adequately power cooling systems, and there is no generator for that building. Web, email and authentication services are hosted in the Liberal Arts building.

What will be done to prevent future outages?

The Board of Regents last week approved UM’s request to implement modular data center units that will provide a network and computing environment that will be much more resilient to outages. In the interim, IT is exploring options for services like UM’s website to have redundant fail-over options hosted external to campus. 

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