Update from the Chief Information Officer

17 April 2014

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to give you an update on the systems outages caused by hardware failure last week, as well as ICT's response to the large number of audiovisual support requests this year. I appreciate that these technical problems have presented challenges for the University community and wanted to assure you that we have been working hard to resolve them.

Hardware failure

Last Thursday's interruption was caused when multiple discs within a storage appliance housing University applications and data failed simultaneously. ICT worked with the technology vendor to manually recover the hardware and prevent data loss, however it took some time to stabilise the systems and ensure they were capable of handling the expected load from staff and students.

As of midnight last Friday (11 April), we had restored access to all critical University systems that had been affected by the hardware failure. Following service restoration, the ICT team is closely monitoring the University's servers; if you experience any issues when connecting to or using technology services, please contact the ICT helpdesk on 9351 6000.

We apologise for the inconvenience last week's outage caused for many of you. We are already implementing plans to retire legacy storage equipment as part of ICT's hardware refresh cycle, which will decrease the risk and impact such technical issues have on the University in the future.

Audiovisual service

ICT has received a very large volume of service requests and incident reports during Semester One regarding audiovisual (AV) services in teaching and seminar rooms. In some instances, the volume of support requests has slowed down resolution times. In response, we have increased the number of technical staff supporting these spaces to improve performance during the remainder of the semester. At present, the team has addressed more than 1300 issues this semester and normal resolution times have been restored.

As well as having increased support staff, we are investigating the nature of the AV issues raised this year, and developing an action plan to ensure we meet your expectations for this critical service. As we improve the volume and capability of these systems through our capital works program, we have also implemented a program to review our current support arrangements and will make further changes as necessary so that we can do more to identify and address issues before they impact teaching, and ensure that any issues you do experience are resolved more quickly.

If you experience issues with AV services during a class, or identify issues with a space that you use regularly, please make sure that you let us know, via the ICT helpdesk. Support material is also available on the University YouTube channel and on Ask Sydney - ICT.

We always welcome your feedback at

Yours sincerely

Bruce Meikle

Chief Information Officer