As fall semester opened and students flocked to campus, Route Y was inundated with students logging in to use AIM, check Blackboard, send e-mail and use other applications.
"The hardest test for the Route Y server system comes on the first day of each semester when students want to log into the system in large numbers at the same time," said Mike Brown, product manager for the Office of Information Technology. "The system has the capacity to handle the load very well 99 percent of the time, but the full effects of peak loads that are three to four times the usual can be difficult to forecast."
On the first day of classes this semester, typically the busiest day for Route Y use, the system experienced more than 121,166 login instances from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Peak hours for Route Y logins were from 9 a.m. to noon, with as many as 700 access requests per minute, compared to the usual 80 per minute. This caused a slowdown in the system that may have inconvenienced some within the campus community.
The Office of IT responded to the problem by balancing the extra load with additional resources made available specifically for this period. Even with such high traffic on the site, most students were able to successfully connect to the product links listed on the Route Y interchange page.
To help students with access, computers were reserved in the Wilkinson Student Center for students specifically logging into Route Y to access student services.
The deployment of new technologies, such as wireless network access, will require increased capacity to handle the additional access provided by these services. OIT is attempting to appropriately plan for this growth with the goal of providing the best possible experience regardless of how the system is accessed.
Constant updates, such as the SiteMinder software implemented in October 2002, continue to facilitate student use of Route Y and help students reach applications they need for school.
"We have made significant enhancements to the Route Y environment since the beginning of this year to accommodate the demand," Brown said. "Services requested through Route Y have also been enhanced with additional integration to assist the campus community in accessing information and services more easily."
The campus community can now preview part of this new environment by selecting the "check out our new design" link on the BYU Home Page at http://www.byu.edu.
For more information about OIT products and services, visit http://it.byu.edu.