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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Brief network outage halts e-mail, SIS access


A glitch caused by server maintenance and testing halted student and faculty access to some web-based university services Monday afternoon.

A planned test associated with the addition of new servers to the university network unexpectedly interrupted service to all systems requiring Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) authentication. LDAP is the system by which students, faculty and administrators verify their identities with the network via a unique username and password.

The outage was first reported at 2:10 p.m. and lasted until 2:45 p.m, according to University Information Technology (UIT) Director of Communications and Organizational Effectiveness Dawn Irish.

The outage affected students, faculty and administrators, Irish said. It disrupted access to WebCenter, the Student Information System (SIS), Blackboard and most e-mail accounts.

The Class of 2014, which uses a different, Microsoft Exchange-based email system with a different authentication process, remained unaffected by the outage.

Because the problem stemmed from the login authentication process, users already logged in to any of the affected systems were able to continue normal use, Irish said.

UIT has been installing additional servers this semester to take the strain off the existing LDAP servers. These servers are expected to improve the system's efficiency and speed up login times. The test that precipitated the outage is related to these ongoing improvements, Irish said.

UIT received 38 calls regarding login problems caused by Monday's server error, Irish said.

Irish called the outage "a unique circumstance."

"It's something that wouldn't likely happen again," she said. "But technology's not perfect, and sometimes these things do happen."


Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared online on Jumbo Slice at