Information regarding the problem of logging into Blackboard

On Saturday evening June 21st untill Monday morning there was a problem with logging into Blackboard (see the earlier bulletin). We realize that this was particularly frustrating as it was exam week. We would like to offer an explanation of the cause of the problem.

When logging into Blackboard the request is sent via a load balancer to one of two servers. Should one of these servers become unavailable the other picks up the request. Unfortunately, last Saturday, when one of the servers went offline, an exceptional situation occurred whereby not all of the requests were successfully picked up. As a result, logging into Blackboard was either not possible or it took a very long time. Due to the exceptional circumstances, the outage of the server was not noticed up by the automatic monitoring, this only came to light on Monday morning as a result of complaints from the users.

The precise cause of the problem has been identified and the configuration of both the monitoring and the load balancing has been amended to prevent a further recurrence of the situation.