Network upgrade snags the phones

A major upgrade that will boost Iowa State's network capacity from 10 GB to 100 GB hit a snag Wednesday, July 9, when a malfunction in the new equipment brought down the university phone system, and to a lesser extent, other online campus services.

The trouble occurred about 5 a.m., during installation of a core router -- one of two major routers that move network traffic between smaller distribution routers.  The university phone system, which operates through the Internet, experienced intermittent service for approximately six hours. There were sporadic outages in Internet and email services.

Angela Bradley, ITS associate chief information officer, said outside consultants  have been helping campus engineers troubleshoot what appears to be a hardware issue with the new routers.

"We apologize for the extended network connectivity issues and understand the urgency and critical nature of both telephone and network service," Bradley said.

Once the new equipment is successfully in place, Iowa State's entire network backbone will have 100 GB capacity. The new network will accommodate more online users, increased use of high-speed data and newer technologies, said CIO Jim Davis.

"It also will help us stay ahead of our Internet bandwidth use, which doubles every two years," Davis said.