New system malfunctions

A lack of capacity and memory caused the online student system iRattler/OurFAMU to malfunction the first day of classes Tuesday, the Enterprise Information Technology division at Florida A&M University said.

EIT also said they did not expect system upgrades, which were conducted during FAMU’s winter break, to fail.

“When (the system) came (alive) Jan. 5, we started experiencing trouble with response time,” said Michael James, information technology director of the student system. “We did not anticipate issues with the server capacity.”

James said faculty, students and staff were affected, as access to the online system was inconsistent for three days of the registration period.

“Registration period has been extended to the thirteenth for the main campus,” James said. “A late registration fee will not start until (Jan. 9)…the EIT extends regrets to the university community for the inconvenience. ”

Vice President for Student Affairs Ronald H. Gaines said on the first day of school the university corresponded with application server provider International Business Machines (IBM) to fix the problem.

“Around 9 a.m. this morning as more and more users signed on to the system, it moved to a halt,” Gaines said. “In discussions with IBM, we thought the system would be fixed by 1:30 p.m.”

However, Gaines said at approximately 1:15 p.m., the system started to move at a slow pace again as more users started to sign on.

Gaines said communicating to students about the status of the online system was a challenge.

“It has been difficult to provide updates because the problem is a like a moving target,” Gaines said. “All of us are fielding calls from students and their families.”

Once gaining access to the Web site, James said there are tutorials available for users to help alleviate navigation problems.

“The EIT division is sponsoring some training sessions in the grand ballroom,” he added.

Due to year-round classes, James said it was necessary to upgrade the system during winter break rather than summer because school was not in session.

FAMU’s Law School in Orlando was also affected by the website’s inaccessibility.