Hardware failure temporarily leaves CAESAR inaccessible

Jodi Genshaft

CAESAR, Northwestern’s online registration system, remained offline Sunday due to a spontaneous hardware failure, Information Technology officials said in an e-mail Sunday.

Originally slated to be operating by 3:30 p.m. Sunday, CAESAR will be back online early today, NUIT consultant Matt Kelsey said.

Information Technology officials said the extent of the failure was unknown, as the hardware vendor attempted to diagnose the exact problem.

Kelsey, a Weinberg sophomore, said a hard drive failure forced the system to remain down. NUIT discovered the technical glitch between 12:15 and 12:20 p.m. Sunday, he said.

NU’s central servers undergo weekly maintenance Sunday between midnight and noon. During this time, CAESAR, Web e-mail, CTEC evaluations, Blackboard and university Web sites may be inaccessible.

Tom Board, director of IT, and Wendy Woodward, associate director of Technology Support Services, had no additional information. Administrators said they did not know if the hardware failure would cause a loss of data.

An e-mail announcing the shutdown was sent only to subscribers to the NUIT listserv. A bulk mail message was not sent to notify most NU students.

Students used CAESAR throughout the past two weeks to register for Spring Quarter classes. The last registration appointments for freshmen took place at the end of last week, but students still can access CAESAR to update their schedules until March 23.

CAESAR replaced a complicated registration process in Parkes Hall during Winter Quarter 1999. After initial failures, CAESAR has been mostly reliable as a vehicle for class registration. The registration system recently has added several new features, including access to student financial aid records and a degree auditing system.