BYU data crash has long-term effects

BYU data crash has long-term effects

July 11

A month and a half after a routine software update caused a system-wide crash at Brigham Young University on Memorial Day, with the university’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is still scrambling to get all the systems up and running. But according to the school’s newspaper, the Universe, some systems may not be fully operational until Christmas.

“When things run smoothly, we get a sense of complacency,” Steve Burton, administrator of the campus Technology Education Computing Lab, told the campus paper. “A thing like this is a good reminder to be vigilant with a backup running.”

The main systems affected by the data center crash included payroll, research data storage and even student records – forcing a postponement of the school’s spring graduation. Many of the school’s departments used the data center for their own backups.

According to the news source, the school was able to get partially up and running by July 3 after transferring data to an emergency shipment of backup hard drives. Nyle Elison, the product line manager for BYU’s OIT, had to drive to the FedEx office himself to load his car with boxes of the hard drives to speed up delivery and the recovery process. Elison told the paper that he is still unsure of what caused the crash, but is working to correct any potential issues to prevent disaster from occurring again.

Backup and recovery software implementation, as well as off-site backup, such as in the cloud, can help prevent similar situations from affecting other organizations of any type, from schools to government agencies.