Night owls in the student population who routinely scramble to check lecture slides and hand in term papers before the crack of dawn will be able to do so on a new schedule as ANGEL’saccess has broadened.
After being inaccessible daily from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Eastern time for several years, ANGEL will now undergo routine maintenance only on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the same time slot, ANGEL Program Manager Terry O’Heron said.
“We decided to stay with ANGEL a little longer, so we wanted to see what we could do to make the user’s experience better, and one thing is not doing maintenance every day,” he said.
O’Heron said that the majority of complaints connected to the time slot reserved for ANGEL’s downtime came from World Campus users in different time zones.
“What we think is 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. might not be as burdensome for users here in the Eastern time zone, but, for someone that might be overseas, that can be a hassle,” he added. “It could be later in the day.”
In an effort to curb the impact on users when they are signed on, more web servers have been added, he said. Rebooting servers involves “knocking off” signed on users.
“We would basically take them out of production, but users would still be on unless they signed off,” he said. “Then we would reboot that group of servers and put them back into production and take out another set.”
He explained that the maintenance window is set for purposes of rebooting servers, doing patches to the operating system or getting an update to an application from a vendor that entails uninstalling those changes in every part of the system.
Additional maintenance changes pertain to updating the database server regarding its hardware and sequel version, he added.
Though the change will officially be enacted Feb. 1, the new schedule for maintenance has been in effect since October 2012. This was geared toward monitoring the system for performance and application, as well as ensuring that users were not affected by the change in maintenance activities, O’ Heron said.
Iliana Baums, assistant professor of biology, said that she uses ANGEL extensively for the classes she teaches and recognizes that not having access to it during those times could impair one’s ability to study.
Though Baums said that she personally would not be able to function well at the designated time slot for the program’s downtime, Jennifer McKee (junior-recreation, park and tourism management) said students can be inconvenienced by the daily routine maintenance, especially during weeks that are marked by a string of exams.
“Students just have a different schedule,” she said.
Ultimately, accommodating users was taken greatly into account, O’Heron said.
“We just wanted to do what we can to make [ANGEL] more widely available and make the experience better for the users,” he said.