IT Services Alerts - Slow Access to External Websites

Updated: Thursday, 2nd December, 3.30pm

IS Services would like to thank College staff and students for the feedback they have provided regarding their experiences accessing the internet from the College network. We are running regular reports from this feedback to ensure we remain up-to-date regarding any positive experiences, where access to the internet has now improved and is satisfactory, as well as any poor experiences.

The report, which you can view here, shows us that the problem is still having a major impact around College, is affecting staff and students across a geographical spread and is not dependent on the operating system or web browser in use. We continue the priority work to complete the upgrade of the College infrastructure, as announced on 26th November, which should provide College with a more stable, reliable and robust service for internet access going forward.

As noted below we would appreciate your continued feedback on your experiences accessing the internet from the College network. Please give us your feedback: it is important to tell us about any good experiences, if your experience has now improved and is satisfactory, as well as about any poor experiences.

IS Services Helpdesk

Updated: Friday, 26th November, 10:30

Over the past 10 days IS Services has progressed with the work to address slow internet access, in particular focusing on expediting the upgrade to the infrastructure that provides internet access facilities for College.  This project, which involved an EU tender, was initiated in the summer following a review of service vulnerabilities.

On the 18th November we fully completed the EU tendering process and have appointed a supplier and have a solution to replace the current web proxy service.  To date restrictions associated with the tendering process have prevented us advertising these details.  Work is now underway with the configuration and implementation of this new service and as of 25th November all internet access requests from all the workstations in the College computer rooms were moved to use this new service.  Our next priority is to move all College Teaching and Research network traffic on the wired network to this upgraded service by close of business today.  This will provide College with a more stable, reliable and robust service for internet access going forward. 

Note - To ensure that users of the wired network in College obtain the benefit of the new service they should ensure that the recommended proxy configuration is setup on their workstation, details can be found at http://isservices.tcd.ie/internet/webproxy.php  

The update issued on 12th November referred to an interim solution.  It should be noted that on Tuesday 23rd November this interim solution stopped functioning and it was necessary to switch users back to the original proxy service while this problem was investigated.  This may have resulted in a return to a degraded service for all.  On Wednesday morning, following configuration changes, we were able to re-introduce the interim solution.   It should be noted that this interim solution is now being replaced with the new and permanent upgrade to ensure proxy services for College.

As we continue with the upgrade we want to remain up-to-date and we need your continued feedback on your experiences accessing the internet from the College network.  Please give us your feedback: it is important to tell us about any good experiences, if your experience has now improved and is satisfactory, as well as about any poor experiences.

IS Services would like to assure the College community that resolving this issue continues to be a priority matter for us.

 

Updated: Friday, 12th November, 12:42

IS Services have continued work to address the slow internet web access which was being experienced in areas across College.  We have made significant change which has improved the service provision over the past week but in order to ensure we remain up-to-date we need your continued feedback on your experiences accessing the internet from the College network.  Please give us your feedback and it is important to tell us about the good experiences - if your experience has now improved and is satisfactory - as well as about the poor experiences.


What has been happening over the last week -

  • The incident team has continued to meet daily to determine the root cause of the problem, to plan ongoing action to restore a satisfactory level of service and to work towards finally resolving the problem.
  • We have continued to make modifications to spread the load over the infrastructure components that facilitate internet access including the new system we introduced last week.  The new system is specifically servicing internet access requests from all the workstations in the College computer rooms and a range of departments and areas across the College including the Library, CLCS, Physics, Institute of Neuroscience, Arts Building, Chemistry, Botany, Civil Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Genetics, Foster Place and College Administration departments.  This has provided approximately 25% additional capacity to the original infrastructure components and is making a significant impact in providing improved Internet access to College users across the board.

What will happen next -

  • The incident team will continue to meet regularly to review network usage, to definitively determine the root cause of the problem and plan any further interim actions required,
  • In parallel IS Services will continue to expedite the internet infrastructure upgrades including the planning and implementation of new proxy services for College.

IS Services would like to assure the College community that ensuring the final resolution of this issue is a priority matter for us.

 

Updated: Friday, 5th November, 14:45

IS Services are continuing work to address the slow internet web access being experienced in areas across College and as we investigate we are making incremental changes to system configurations to address this issue.  To help us ensure we have up-to-date information regarding your ongoing experiences accessing the internet from the College network please do give us your feedback.

What has been happening over the last week -

  • The team has been working to determine the root cause of the problem
  • In parallel the internet infrastructure upgrades will be expedited including new proxy services
  • We have made modifications to spread the load over the infrastructure components that facilitate internet access and introduced a new system.  The new system is specifically servicing internet access requests from all the workstations in the College computer rooms and is being introduced to selected test departments and areas across the College including the Library, CLCS, Physics and Neuroscience.  This has removed approximately 15% of the overall load from our existing infrastructure component.
  • We have introduced two new Domain Name Servers (DNS) solely for the proxy service; this is the route for all internet access from College.

What will happen next -

  • The incident team will continue to meet regularly to determine the root cause of the problem and plan ongoing action until the problem is resolved
  • In parallel we continue to expedite the internet infrastructure upgrades including new proxy services

IS Services continues to offer an apology for the disruption caused by the issue and is aware of the user frustration that this generates. We would like to assure the College community that everything possible is being done to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.

 

Updated: Thursday, 28th October, 14:50

The following statement has been released by the Director of Information System Services, Mr John Murphy.

Dear all,
During the past 10 days there has been a serious degradation of Internet access across the College. These problems have been largely intermittent and random in nature. The College network is complex and supports many different types of network access on the main campus and 23 remote sites including Student Residences and two teaching hospitals at Tallaght and St. James. There are currently 25,000 users supported. The problem is not specific to either the wired or wireless network.

Last week an action plan was drafted and a team was setup to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. It has number one priority status within IS Services.

What has been done to date:

  • We have made modifications to spread the load over the infrastructure components that facilitate internet access.
  • Review of Domain Name Servers (DNS) for proxy service; reconfiguration of existing DNS for proxy services; and allocation of two new dedicated DNS servers. This is the route for all Internet access from College.
  • IS Services has communicated with other IT professionals in College and specific users that were experiencing poor performance to establish if any of the configuration changes had significantly improved their experience
  • A number of users were visited to analyse and review configurations on their workstations to establish if client setup was the cause of the problem.
  • Quantitative graphical simulation (measurement tool) of the issue. The impact of the changes above are currently being determined by reference to the measurement tool
  • IS Services have been engaged in a project to upgrade the components of infrastructure that provide internet access facilities following a review last year. We are in the final stages of tender award following an EU tendering process to replace the current service in order to provide a first class proxy service.  It is expected to have these new components in service shortly.

What will happen the next -

  • The team will continue to work to determine the root cause of the problem
  • In parallel the Internet infrastructure upgrades will be expedited including new Proxy services
  • All staff and students will be kept informed of developments on the IS Services website, on Twitter and by email

IS Services apologies for the disruption caused by the issue and is aware of the user frustration that this generates. I would like to assure the College community that everything possible is being done to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.   

Regards

John Murphy

Director Information Systems Services
Trinity College Dublin
Ireland

-----------------------------------End of Statement-------------------------------------------------

 

Updated: Friday, 22nd October, 11am

IS Services have been continuing to receive a number of reports from across the College of slow and unusable web access.  We wish to assure College staff that we have, as a priority, been investigating and making adjustments to various system configurations over the past week to try to address this issue. 

Investigations are now pointing to a specific part of the IT infrastructure as a possible cause of the problem and further testing is required to confirm this theory.  We will of course continue to look into any possible avenues of investigation that we can identify until we have the results of the testing and have the problem resolved.

Many thanks for your continuing patience regarding this issue.

IS Services Helpdesk

 

Updated: Tuesday, 19th October, 2.45pm

Work is continuing in resolving the issues causing slow access to external websites and IS Services would once again like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

IS Services Helpdesk

 

First Posted: Wednesday, 13th October 1.15pm

IS Services are aware of an issue whereby access to websites external to College is slower than normal for some end users. Work is underway to resolve this issue and updates will be posted here.

IS Services Helpdesk