Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The network is down - a perfect storm

It all started on Friday. Our content management system to author content was down just before lunch. We got database errors. My department seems paralyzed when such incidents take place. I got one of my students to report the problem.

Unfortunately, our helpdesk support is halfway around the world and doesn't look at off-hour issues. Ugh!

On the weekend, I had to do some preparation work. My team needed to create two documentation projects and requires all folks to not be working. I planned on doing this work on Saturday. Sure enough, I tried doing some copying work and database errors took place.

There errors were intermittent, though. I logged in using my regular account and I got tons of errors. I tried copying smaller sections with another administrative account and that worked. Weird.

Yesterday, I had my regularly scheduled 8 am meeting. I drive to work on the call. This meeting was delayed by half an hour. I called in about fifteen minutes from work. I couldn't connect to the network.

I walked into a meeting room that I had booked for my little team. My students told me that every network connection was down. It now made sense why I couldn't connect to my conference call. 

I walked over to the lunch room to get some hot water for my tea. I found out that there was a Canada-wide outage. Nice.

I headed back to my students to relay the news. I found out later that it was a global problem.

E-mail was down. I loved it. I didn't have any distractions. I didn't have to respond immediately to my manager's questions due to his incompetence.

Slowly, the network came back up. My team was able to log in to most of our applications and continue with our content projects. Others on my team weren't that lucky.

It was a trying day. My team handled it with grace and humour. We are good with teamwork, fuelled by cookies.


  1. Well it is a blessing sometimes: no mail. Still I find it annoying when the network is down, I disturbs my planning and leave me like a zombie all day...

    1. The network being down does have its pros and cons. I was thrilled to not deal with e-mail. I could have used that blessing on Wednesday. The outage did affect our productivity, but we did manage to get things done when the network slowly returned to normal.