CU’s University Information Systems (UIS) recently achieved a new record in supporting student, faculty and staff logins without a hitch. On the highest volume day of the recent semester launch, our student portal handled 150,745 logins.
What paved the way?
As the end of summer nears, CU looks forward to the energy and promise new and continuing students bring to our campuses. Campus staff and the system administration offices begin preparations months in advance to ensure that students, faculty and staff enjoy a positive experience at this critical time of year. In fall 2015, CU welcomed 9,300 new students who will access our shared systems for the first time and we want their first impression of CU’s systems to be exceptional.
CU Denver’s classes began Aug. 17; CU-Boulder and UCCS started Aug. 24. UIS kicked into overdrive leading up to semester start to monitor and support the universitywide student systems that handle admissions, class registration, financial aid, degree audit and many other shared systems.
In the weeks before and after term starts, UIS implements a production moratorium, restricting changes to enterprise applications to minimize any chance of unanticipated impacts. During this time, a critical puzzle piece is in play that includes detailed load testing to catch potential issues in a variety of scenarios.
Beginning a week before classes, UIS monitors enterprise systems regularly using tools that emulate expected campus login activity. Monitoring happens every 5 minutes and executes 600 transactions across 30 different UIS services. If something isn’t working as it should, UIS staff is alerted 24x7 about active or potential problems. The system not only alerts UIS to occurring problems, it identifies potential issues before impacting customers. Extensive system logging enables this quick diagnosis and remediation of problems should they arise.
During the first 48 hours of semester start on each campus, UIS operates a command center where over a dozen technical staff continually monitor student systems and are poised to respond should an issue arise. These folks are directly connected to campus IT Service Desks and technical teams, along with the rest of UIS staff and key contacts within our vendor organizations, like Oracle/PeopleSoft.
The result? CU achieved a new record in supporting student, faculty and staff logins without a hitch. On our highest volume day, our student portal handled 150,745 logins.
Want to learn more about CU’s student systems? Refer to CU-SIS in the UIS Service Catalog.