Tag Archives: Internet

Brief Internet Outage

There will be a brief – less than 5 minutes – internet outage district-wide on Wednesday, October 25th at 5:30 PM.  This outage is related to maintenance being performed by our ISP to resolve a problem we’ve identified.  

Connectivity should be restored for all devices immediately after the maintenance is completed, with no action required on the part of users.  

Internet Service Upgrade Completed

After a couple of false starts, we successfully completed an upgrade of our internet service through the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) just over a week ago.  The most substantial impact of this change is that our internet bandwidth has been expanded from 1Gb to 3Gb, a critical improvement (more on that below). 

Why was this upgrade necessary?

Once we completed the upgrade, issues we had been facing with internet performance almost immediately vanished.  Prior to the upgrade, we were seeing our bandwidth max out immediately at the beginning of the school day, and it would remain that way until school was out for the day.  This means that – at any given time – we had more demand for bandwidth than our service could accommodate, resulting in slow performance and intermittent drops / loading errors.  You can see this in the chart at right, which shows our demand and usage prior to the upgrade.   Continue reading Internet Service Upgrade Completed

Network Services Restored

The power outage at the physical plant headquarters has been resolved, and internet/phone services should now be working as normal at the physical plant, West High School, Weber Elementary, Horn Elementary, and TREC.  

Most users shouldn’t have to do anything in order to get back on the network, but if you have problems getting network access on your computer after the outage, I’d recommend that you restart your computer in order to reset your network configuration.  

If you are unable to access network resources or if larger-scale problems return, please contact the Helpdesk at x4357 or helpdesk@iowacityschools.org

Thanks for your patience as we worked through this issue.  

Update: Internet Upgrade Delayed

Our internet service upgrade – scheduled for last night – has been delayed until next week after we encountered an unexpected problem.  We do not have a specific date/time for the next upgrade window, but I’ll post that here as soon as we’ve completed a conference call with the involved parties. 

What happened?

At 5:00 PM, ICCSD network administrators, working with Iowa Communications Network (ICN) and Lightedge Solutions engineers, switched our internet connection from our current 1Gb ICN connection to the new 3Gb ICN connection.  A component of this switch also includes moving from our current internally-managed Palo Alto firewall to a Lightedge-managed Fortinet firewall; staying on our existing Palo Alto hardware is not an option, as it cannot handle the 3Gb throughput required for the new connection. 

The internet connection worked properly, as did all but one of the mission critical services that we had previously identified as potential points of failure during the internet service upgrade.  One service, however – a VPN tunnel to a particular site – was not successfully brought online after implementation of the new firewall.  We attempted troubleshooting until the close of our announced upgrade window, but with no success were forced to revert to the previous settings and service.  

What should I expect moving forward?

As previously mentioned, we’ll be rescheduling the upgrade window as soon as possible, likely for next week.  We’ve already identified the steps necessary to solve the issue with the site that didn’t come up, and now need to coordinate availability on the part of ICN and Lightedge.  I’ll post a specific date/time as soon as we have one. 

Since the upgrade was not successful, I expect that internet performance issues will continue for the coming (approximately) week.  Our network administrators have been tuning quality-of-service settings over the past couple of weeks in order to prioritize critical or interruption-intolerant traffic, and will continue to do so in order to make the most of the 1Gb service we currently have.  

As mentioned in my previous post on this topic, we expect all internet performance problems to be immediately resolved following the successful upgrade to 3Gb service.  We appreciate your patience as we work through this process.  

Internet Service Upgrade 9/27/17

UPDATE: This upgrade was unsuccessful (details here); we’ll be rescheduling the upgrade for next week. 

Tonight is a big night for our internet service in the Iowa City Schools; a long-planned upgrade will take place beginning at 5:00 PM (on September 27th) that will expand our service from 1Gb bandwidth to 3Gb.  Here’s what you need to know: 

Continue reading Internet Service Upgrade 9/27/17

Maximizing Internet/Network Performance

While we’ve taken many steps to expand our network access and performance over the past few months, the reality is that all networks face hard limits in terms of the amount of data that can be moved at once.  

In order to ensure that teachers and students are able to maximize internet and network performance, here are a few useful tips: Continue reading Maximizing Internet/Network Performance

Brief Network Outage at Hills, Weber, and Transitions

In order to complete necessary maintenance related to a problem impacting Hills Elementary, network service – including internet, internal network services, and phone service – will be briefly disrupted today at 5:00 PM.   This issue will impact Hills Elementary, Weber Elementary, and Transitions.

We expect that this outage will last between 5 and 10 minutes. 

Brief Network Outage on August 28th

As part of a planned system upgrade, the ICCSD internet connection will briefly be offline at 5:00 PM on Monday, August 28th.  We expect this outage to last for a short time, but there is the possibility that outages will continue either continuously or sporadically for up to one hour.  

We do not expect any downtime after 6:00 PM on August 28th.  As always, we appreciate your patience as we work to improve our network infrastructure and performance. 

What’s New in the Technology & Innovation Department: E-Rate

With temperatures in the 50s this past weekend, it finally seems as though spring is in sight.  While day-to-day technology support needs in the district tend to hit a bit of a lull at this time of year – many chronic issues have been solved, and most new technology initiatives and programs are well-established – this is a busy time of year from a planning perspective. Continue reading What’s New in the Technology & Innovation Department: E-Rate

ICCSD Internet Service Disruption

On Monday, February 20th at 6:30 PM, ICCSD will experience an internet service outage due to scheduled maintenance by our internet service provider, the Iowa Communications Network (ICN).  During the outage, internet service will not be available within district buildings, and some district-provided web services, such as Exchange email, will not be available.  The district website, PowerSchool, and Google services will continue to be available during this time. 

While we do not yet have an expectation from the ICN regarding how long this maintenance window will take, we are estimating a four-hour service disruption.