Busted pipe in Sid Rich causes technological services outages

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    The TCU computer mainframe located in the Sid W. Richardson Building was affected by a burst pipe in the building’s basement Thursday morning due to freezing temperatures, resulting in outages in the university’s technological services such as my.tcu.edu, TCU e-mail accounts, servers and the main TCU website.

    With eight inches of water under the floorboards where the electrical wires are located, Josh Harmon, director of enterprise application services, said it was surprising the server was recovered by Saturday morning.

    He said it could have been down for a couple of weeks.

    “I think we’re all still a little bit stunned that pretty much everything’s working,” Harmon said.

    In response to the flooding, university staff worked on campus and from their homes over the weekend, Harmon said.

    Workers from the Physical Plant and BMS, a clean-up company, worked on drying the flooded area, and programmers and staff in departments such as financial aid frequently checked their websites to see if they were accessible, Harmon said.

    With e-mail down, TCU Alert directed students to Facebook for information updates.

    Updates from Facebook stopped Friday but continued Sunday through the university’s main website and mass e-mail.

    Lisa Albert, director of communications, wrote in an e-mail to all students, faculty and staff Sunday that online services were available.

    All information that Albert sent via e-mail and posted online was collected from Bryan Lucas, executive director for technology resources, and his team, she said.

    There were still problems with some branches of the university’s website on Monday, and Lucas did not respond to phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.

    Harmon said the study abroad site did not work properly until Monday afternoon. He said the study abroad database server was developed outside of technology resources and running on its own separate database.

    Also, the search function on TCU’s main website directed users to a list of search-related links on Google. He said he didn’t know the reason behind the search engine malfunction and whether it was related to the power outage.

    Attempts to reach Tracy Syler-Jones, vice chancellor for marketing and communication, for more information were not immediately returned.

    Staff reporter Caitlin Cockerline contributed to this report.

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