We have made, and continue to make, substantial investments to ensure that SEU’s server and network infrastructure is as reliable as possible.
Among those improvements are a large UPS (battery-backed power supply) for the Doyle Server Room, and heavy use of virtualized servers. The UPS allows us to continue server operations during limited-duration power outages, and virtualization allows us to distribute virtual servers between physical locations to take advantage of changing campus conditions, something that is not easily possible with physical servers.
Those two investments in infrastructure proved their value during the rolling power blackouts of February 2.
During the rolling blackouts, which affected much of Texas, Austin Energy cut power to portions of SEU three times, totaling 89 minutes without power.
While power was out, the UPS kept our Doyle Server Room up and running, allowing IT staff time to migrate all of the virtualized servers to another SEU server facility in Moody, which was unaffected by the rolling blackouts.
The result was that while individual buildings were without power, critical SEU technology services, including www.stedwards.edu, EdShare, DNS, email, calendaring, authentication services and Blackboard, remained online and operational for the duration of the rolling blackouts.