University systems crash with unknown cause

Some U systems have been restored while others were still unavailable as of Tuesday night.

Bella Dally-Steele

Late Monday night, the University of Minnesota’s data center experienced an outage, crashing the University’s IT systems.

The outage, which affected “the brains” of many University systems, was noticed almost immediately, and IT professionals have been working to recover the affected systems ever since, said Bernard Gulachek, Vice President of the Office of Information Technology. Gulachek said the office does not predict any data loss from the outage.

Some indispensable systems, like the University’s network and Wi-Fi, were restored before the beginning of the business day, Gulachek said, but the office is still working to recover PeopleSoft as of Tuesday night. PeopleSoft is the software system that runs services like MyU, Human Resources and Student Administration.

“We’re in the process of trying to recover the systems in the most expeditious way possible,” Gulachek said.

The office needs to reboot the systems in a certain sequence to ensure proper functioning because the systems communicate with each other.

For the time being, officials are focusing on retrieving the crashed systems, but will start investigating the root cause of the data center’s outage as soon as the systems are back up.

Gulachek said an outage of this kind has not occurred for quite a few years, but its timing in the summer may have softened the blow.

“I would never say that a system outage like this is ideal,” he said, “[but] the impact of things like this changes depending on the time of year that we’re in.”