Fordham’s Information Technology (IT) performed several improvements prior to the return of students and faculty of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). The improvements consist of updating Fordham’s hardware and Blackboard System.
According to Deirdre Dillon, director of customer relations and student technology at Fordham IT, the upgrade was a migration to a new hardware. “[The hardware upgrade] includes the upgrading for all servers, routers, firewalls, computers and other equipment needed to perform data-processing at Fordham,” she said.
Coupled with the network upgrade, IT also updated Fordham’s Blackboard System for the upcoming fall semester. Various improvements to Blackboard include the ability for students and faculty to record videos, view and edit tests, edit the interface and more. “These improvements to the Blackboard System are very minimal compared to the Blackboard major upgrade, which was done last fall,” Dillon said.
In regards to the hardware network, periodic upgrades are necessary to maintain an overall good performance, provide support for future systems and to keep the network technology current. “These upgrades occur when we deem hardware not sufficient to support current or future systems,” Dillon said.
Overall, the network hardware upgrade, which includes an upgrade to computers, firewalls, routers, etc., will make it faster to navigate Fordham’s portals and applications. In order to get the faster response, Fordham IT created more storage space. “[With the original hardware], reading and writing to the original hard disks took quite a bit of bandwidth,” Dillon said. “Faster port speed, 10 gigabits in the upgrade, will enable better performance overall.”
This coming fall, students and faculty will be able to notice the speed of Fordham’s hardware. In addition, the network upgrade will be able to handle and respond quickly to the capacity of students and faculty.
“Network servers typically are configured with additional processing, memory and storage capacity to handle the load of servicing clients,” Dillon said. “The upgrade will move data more between the network and storage more expeditiously.”
When asked whether the IT provides good service to the FCLC, students disagreed, saying that the computer’s speed and efficiency are unreliable on multiple occasions. According to Anny Bagum, FCLC ’16, Fordham’s server works slowly, especially when the network is overcrowded by students and faculty, who are all logged on at the same time. “The server crashes during registration. Other than that, once or twice during the school year, the computer system would be very slow or just wouldn’t work,” she said.
Agreeing with Bagum, Nate Coffey, FCLC ’16, said that he and other students were having problems when connecting to the Internet and Wi-Fi at FCLC. “When I used other people’s computers that were using Fordham Wi-Fi, the connection fluctuated from fine to ‘I-think-I’d-rather-watch-paint-dry,’” he said.
Despite the issues, there are some students who are satisfied with Fordham’s network and IT’s service. Chelsea Landman, FCLC ’16, said that she has not experienced any problems accessing Fordham’s Internet and portals. “I haven’t actually had any problems except for my computer being slow,” she said. “I just had a problem connecting [to the Internet and Wi-Fi], but the IT people were actually really helpful and responsive,” Landman said.