January 29, 2015

UIS supports seamless semester starts for our campuses

Each semester, tens of thousands of students log into their campus’s student portal to access their schedules, add and drop classes and pay their student accounts. The biggest traffic on student systems technologies occurs during the first week of classes, which started Jan. 12 for CU-Boulder and Jan. 20 for CU Denver and UCCS. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the services are available and effective regardless of the login load for all student functions.

How does CU prepare for a smooth semester start each term? Here is our process.

Student processes like registration, billing and financial aid are managed by CU’s system administration University Information Systems (UIS). In the weeks before and after the semester starts, UIS places a hold on any changes to the services students, faculty and staff access to minimize any chance of unanticipated impacts. UIS monitors systems regularly as part of their daily process and significantly increases monitoring as the first day of classes approaches for each campus. The team also performs detailed load testing to catch potential issues in a variety of scenarios before they become reality.

At semester start, a team of UIS staff gathers in a command center to continuously monitor system performance and to respond to any variations in expected performance. The department reaches out to campus IT and communication teams to help ensure that students, faculty and staff are kept informed if issues are discovered.

The result for spring 2015? Faculty, staff and students logged into almost 213,000 campus portal sessions during their combined first days of classes with no significant issues. The number of log-ins is up from 2014, when just over 210,500 combined log-ins were counted the first days of classes. Also, from Jan. 11-Jan. 21, UIS provided enterprise application services to:

85,000 unique student systems users
17,000 unique human resources users (includes employee self-service)
2,000 unique finance users
92,000 unique portal users

The university’s UIS department provides the tools and applications that support campus-wide business and academic applications. Explore our website to learn more.