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All systems go: UNKSecure, Blackboard, LoperMail up and running after rocky start
Erik Dodge
Antelope Staff

As of last Friday morning, wireless Internet, BlackBoard and LoperMail were all back online. Work to fix the inaccessible services began at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 20, said assistant vice-chancellor of information technology services, Deb Schroeder.

BlackBoard, LoperMail and wireless Internet use domain controllers to authenticate passwords, and the domain controller put itself in a state such that it could not perform as a domain controller, according to Schroeder.

“It’s fairly complex software,” Schroeder said. “You have multiple servers that have to talk to each other, and they just didn’t talk to each other.”

The system requires at least one domain controller to function. University staff worked to fix the domain controller for 20 hours before working with Microsoft on Saturday and Sunday according to Schroeder.

“We didn’t give up until about 9 o’clock Sunday night. At 9 o’clock Sunday night we decided there was no hope, so Monday morning we came up with a couple of accommodations,” Schroeder said.

An unsecured wireless network that allowed anyone to connect was provided, and the authentication method was changed for BlackBoard to give everyone access on Monday. Technology Helpdesk employee Josh Schuman of Imperial estimated that more than 60 students visited the Helpdesk each day during the first week of classes.

“Students, faculty and staff were extremely patient with us as we worked through this crisis, and we really, really appreciate that,” Schroeder said.

The rocky start is a reminder of how important technology and the network are, Schroeder said.

“It’s not how we wanted to start the semester, but everything is going now,” Schroeder said.

The unsecured wireless network was phased out and replaced with the secure network UNKSecure. The password for BlackBoard will be changed back to the Easi password on Sep. 7, Schroeder said.

Thousands of devices were already using the UNK network by Friday morning.

“We’ve already seen about 4,000 devices connected to our network,” Schroeder said. “I think that’s pretty incredible.”

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