Occasionally unforeseen events cause interruptions in the services Enterprise Networking and Communication Services provides the University. Explanations of significant outages and what is being done to prevent their reoccurrence are offered below in a spirit of openness and transparency to our customers.
August 4,5,8,9, 2016 – Voice Services Outage
The intermittent phone outages on August 4, 5, 8, and 9, 2016, were caused by simultaneous hardware and software failures in one of the two servers that work in tandem to route Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone calls to and from Penn State.While still operational throughout the course of the incident, the failing server had reached a degraded point and was processing calls slower than it was receiving them. The slow response time created multiple “queuing” issues during times of high call volume, which introduced cascading call setup delays within the phone systems connecting the University Park, Brandywine, and Hazleton campuses. As a result, some inbound and outbound calls got through while others did not.
The incident comprised 1,420 minutes of full service downtime and affected 14,793 VoIP users at University Park, Brandywine, and Hazleton campuses as well as outside callers who were trying to reach those campuses by phone. The incident did not affect any other Penn State campus locations or “blue light” emergency, elevator, and residence hall phones.
For more details, please see the technical Major Incident Review of the outage.