Author Archives: Cynthia Slater

Windows 10: What’s Happening?


With Microsoft offering free Windows 10 upgrades to current owners of Windows 7 and 8, Information Technology Services (ITS) has received questions about this new operating system and our plans for the future.  ITS currently recommends that individuals do not install Windows 10 if they are prompted to do so on a college-owned machine.  Until thorough testing of Windows 10 functionality with College resources has been completed, ITS will continue to install and support Windows 7 on college-owned computers.  Windows 10 will be made available on campus computers later on, after any significant issues are resolved and important supporting documentation has been updated.

As we put Windows 10 through its paces, our observations, known issues, and training resources will be gathered for convenient access.  Visit http://go/win10 for the latest information.

Interested in a peek at what lies ahead?  Check out this brief course, Windows 10 New Features (~ 40 minutes).

Bombay Print Server Retires Monday, August 3

Middlebury College is retiring the Bombay print server on August 3, 2015, as it is incompatible with our current 64-bit operating systems.  Bombay has been replaced by a new print server named Walnut that has all of the same print queues on it.

ITS has worked with the majority of people who were connecting to the old server but if you have been away from campus you may experience an interruption in printing services until you move from Bombay to Walnut printers.   If needed, refer to the steps below to restore printing.  If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the Helpdesk at 802.443.2200 or via email to

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Key Survey Scheduled Maintenance – Sunday, May 31

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The following information is relevant to anyone who uses Key Survey to create and distribute surveys, as well as survey respondents.

From: WorldAPP Customer Care
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 1:02 PM
Subject: WorldAPP Maintenance Notification

Key Survey & will be undergoing maintenance between 1am and 3am EDT on Sunday, 31st May.

As part of our commitment to enhance our services and improve reliability, we need to schedule a short maintenance period this weekend to replace some elements of our production environment.

During the maintenance period both the and Key Survey applications will be unavailable, with respondents directed to a maintenance page.

Further information and updates will be posted to our community pages.
WorldAPP Customer Care Team

Key Survey / WorldApp Update: Message from the CEO

Here is the message sent by the CEO of WorldApp, Inc. concerning last Friday’s Key Survey down time.  (Key Survey is a software program used to create and distribute surveys, as well as collect & analyze responses.)

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From: Oleg Matsko
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 9:36 AM
Subject: An update on Friday’s disruption – a message from our CEO

Last Friday’s issues have been some of the most severe issues to affect WorldAPP since we launched Key Survey in 2002. As CEO, I take immense pride in serving organizations across the world in fulfilling their requirements and I feel immensely sorry and hurt that we let those customers down. As such, I feel it is only right that we be completely open, honest and transparent about what happened, and what we are doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A few weeks ago we noticed that one of the storage components of our production environment had started to fail. This in itself doesn’t cause an immediate issue, our production environment is built with multiple layers of redundancy, and despite one of the critical elements of this environment not functioning, our applications continued to work in the manner they should, without any impact on availability. It is important though that when these issues occur, we rectify them as quickly as we can, so that should other components of our environment fail, there isn’t any impact on service.

So for the past few weeks we have been preparing our secondary storage components to take over, allowing us to complete the necessary works on the primary components. Our applications collect a lot of data, in fact the equivalent of 11,000 pages of paper an hour, and this amount of data takes a lot of time to transfer. In an absolutely emergency we can complete this transfer in about 12 hours, but as our primary setup was still stable, and the risks of transferring such a huge amount of data in a relatively short amount of time being quite high, we took our time and completed this transfer over a period of a few weeks.

This transfer was completed on Thursday evening, our secondary storage components went live without issue, and our primary storage components were taken offline to allow the required maintenance to be completed. For a few hours, everything worked fine, and then at around 08:00 EDT on Friday morning, without notice our secondary storage components failed. At the moment, the reason why they failed is still unclear, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious cause. We will work hard with our infrastructure partners, to find out why this happened – but the most important thing for us to do on Friday was to get our applications back online.

Key Survey and are incredibly large and complex applications, and restarting them isn’t a simple operation. The applications are made up of many separate modules, each relating to an area of their functionality, such as reporting, voting or our API. The effort required to restart them is large, so much so that they cannot all be restarted at once. As such, modules were restarted individually, in order of priority. Our main Key Survey and environments were operational by 15:00 EDT, with all of our reporting modules online by 21:30 EDT and specific instances of our applications for individual customers back online by 00:30 EDT on Saturday morning.

As a result of Friday’s disruption, I have instructed our teams to rebuild our storage infrastructure to include additional layers of redundancy with built in instant failover capabilities. This is no easy challenge, implementing this infrastructure and migrating all our applications will take about a week, but we should be able to complete this without additional disruption. Once these changes are implemented, we will be able to recover our systems in a matter of minutes. This is in addition to the construction of the remote disaster recovery infrastructure which is already underway and estimated to be completed early next year.

Unfortunately, until these changes have been completed, our secondary storage components could fail again, and this leaves us in a precarious position. Whilst the probability of such a failure is low, and we have taken all possible precautions to ensure it doesn’t reoccur, our teams are prepared to restore services as quickly as possible in the event of a second failure. As the amount of data that is migrated to the new infrastructure increases throughout the week, the amount of time to restore services in the event of an issue reduces. This does mean though that should a similar issue occur early this week, we could experience a similar outage as to what happened on Friday.

As mentioned, I want to be transparent about the challenges we face, and honest about what could happen while we take steps to improve our services. We will let you know as soon as this new environment is fully functional and we can be sure that such issues do not cause as much disruption as they have. In the meantime our team are working diligently to monitor and manage our applications to avoid such issues, and are prepared to restore services as quickly as possible in the event of a reoccurrence of Friday’s troubles. I can also assure you that we will investigate thoroughly what caused these components to fail, but for the time being I want to concentrate all our resources on implementing these changes and improving our service to you.

We will support you as much as we can as a result of this disruption – if there is anything WorldAPP can do to assist you from work you weren’t able to complete last week, such as building surveys, forms or reports, please let your account manager know. We’ll endeavour to accommodate as many requests as we can.

Once again I would like to reiterate my thanks for your patience and understanding, and my genuine sorrow that we have let you down. WorldAPP have been a trusted provider of survey, forms and inspection solutions for over 12 years now, and I hope my explanation of what happened, and assurances of the actions we’re taking to ensure it doesn’t happen again, go some way to rebuilding that trust.

Oleg Matsko
WorldAPP, Inc.
161 Forbes Rd Ste 300, Braintree, MA, 02184, US

Key Survey / WorldAPP Service Interruption – Update

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The login and survey access issues with Key Survey have not yet been resolved.  Here is the latest information received from their support team:

From: WorldAPP Support []
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2015 1:30 PM
Subject: WorldAPP System Interruptions

Today, WorldAPP services, including Key Survey, and associated applications, have been subject to a service disruption. Below is a brief overview of what caused the issue and the actions we’re taking to restore services as quickly as possible.

Recently, a CPU on one of the servers that our applications use to access our database started failing. Whilst the failure of one CPU doesn’t cause disruption to our services, it does require maintenance so that should the others fail, our applications aren’t impacted. Yesterday evening, our team migrated services to our disaster recovery environment to enable the required maintenance to take place. This is common practice during periods of maintenance to enable continuation of service and has been regularly implemented without effect.

After a few hours of operating on the disaster recovery environment, for reasons yet unknown, the disaster recovery environment failed. Our team took immediate steps to bring the environment back online and are working very hard on restoring services in order of priority, with the most critical services being the first to be restored. As this process continues, we’ll provide further updates on our community pages here.

As we continue to experience service disruption, our applications will remain unavailable and respondents attempting to complete a survey or form will be directed to an error page. We are incredibly sorry for the frustration that this disruption is causing you, and assure you we’re working as hard as we can to restore full service as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely,
Teresa Crisci
Director of Client Services

By: WorldAPP, Inc.
161 Forbes Rd Ste 300, Braintree, MA, 02184, US

Key Survey Issues — Login and Survey Access Unavailable

KeySurvey LogoWe are currently experiencing issues with Key Survey (hosted by WorldApp).  Users who try to log on will not be presented with the usual login screen; the page simply does not load.  Survey recipients will not be able to access surveys and respond at this time.

WorldApp has been notified of these problems.  Updates will be shared here as soon as they are available.

Remember that go/techalerts can be used for quick access to system up/down information and posts concerning outages.

[As of 9:15 am – WorldApp currently estimates that services will be restored in about 30 minutes.  All modules are affected; surveys and reports are not accessible as well.]

Got Guests? Wireless Info to Share with Campus Visitors

If you are asked to help a campus visitor who would like to use our wireless network, don’t panic!  Read on to learn how you can save the day…  as well as help other visitors plan ahead.

A guest is on campus NOW and doesn’t have a Middlebury guest account.  What should they do?

For now, the quickest route for visitors who did not create a Middlebury guest account before arriving on campus (or who created one but forgot their account password) is to connect using our Midd-standard wireless network.  Contact the Technology Helpdesk (802.443.2200) to obtain the password.

I know someone who is planning a campus visit.  How can I make their experience easier?

The smoothest route is to have guests follow these instructions to create a guest account prior to their arrival on campus.  When they arrive on campus, they’ll simply select the MiddleburyCollege wireless network on their device then supply their guest account credentials to connect.

What can guests do LATER ON, when the new GuestAccountCreation wireless network is available?

After the GuestAccountCreation wireless network is available, visitors who did not create a guest account in advance will be able to follow these instructions to create a guest account from on campus.  (Do you have frequent visitors?  Here’s a handy cheat sheet you can share!)

Please note that the GuestAccountCreation wireless network is NOT yet available; we are hoping to proceed with its launch during spring break.  Stay tuned for updates.

Where can I find more information about wireless?

  • Visit our main wireless page (  You’ll find the latest scoop on our project timeline, connection specifics, instructions for guests, and more.
  • To learn the full details concerning our wireless project, refer to this blog post.