Distributed Learning Technologies

January 6, 2019: CENIC issue affecting Blackboard connectivity

During several periods on January 6th, users may have been unable to use Blackboard.

Who was affected?

On-campus users may have been unable to use Blackboard at all.

Off-campus users may have been able to reach Blackboard but unable to log in.

When did this happen?

University monitoring detected two periods of serious interruption in service:

  • Between 3:59 AM and 11:15 AM
  • Between 4:31 PM and 9:08 PM

CENIC reported intermittent traffic loss between 3:55 AM and 9:10 PM. 

Technical details

CENIC identified a malfunctioning router which caused intermittent drops in backbone traffic along the route between the University and Blackboard's data center. Computer systems managed by the University and by Blackboard were operating normally, but were intermittently unable to communicate with each other.

When this traffic is dropped, on-campus users will not be able to reach Blackboard at all; off-campus users will be able to reach Blackboard, but will be unable to log in because Blackboard must be able to reach University servers in order to validate the login.