November 20, 2013

‘Technological Calamities’ keep Urbana’s website offline

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By Robert Holly/CU-CitizenAccess — Though the City of Urbana’s website has been down for nearly two weeks, city officials said they still don’t know when it will be back up.

“You know, with all luck, we were hoping it have it [up] already,” said Shawn Fluno, an Urbana network administrator. “So sadly, at the moment, there’s no projected date to get it back up and running, at least with the most-current data.”

The website first went down sometime on Nov. 8, according to Fluno, who said the crash happened because of “a hardware issue.” He said it has not been fixed since because of “a collection of technological calamities.”

Urbana’s information technology department put up a temporary site with basic city information such as a special event calendars, council meeting agendas and the system for paying parking tickets. However, the temporary site lacks many features from the normal site.

As a result, Fluno said Urbana residents may experience some inconveniences because of the crash.

“In its current state, what would be unavailable at this moment would be some of the forms that we keep online to save citizens from having to journey in here,” Fluno said. “A lot of the past data, if you will, on past council meetings is also currently not available.”

A notice posted on the temporary site reads: “The City of Urbana’s website server malfunctioned on Friday, November 8, 2013, which has temporarily idled the City’s website. Although City Information Technology staff were able to temporarily bring the website back online for a short period of time there will be intermittent down times during server rebuilding. The down time is necessary to correct files, check links, and ensure current material is posted. We appreciate your patience while we work through these updates.”

Once the main website is restored, it will take additional time to transition back to the usual site and update all of its information, according to Fluno.

“We’ll have [the temporary site] up until we’re able to get our main site back up.” Fluno said. “At that point, it will be a little behind in some respects, too.”

While Fluno said the crash was unfortunate, he said it will help prevent similar crashes in the future.

“We’re hoping that this will be a learning tool for us for next time, so we can make sure we have a few more things in place since this is such a vital point of access to the community, to get information about the goings-on of the city,” said Fluno.