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Thursday November 16, 2000

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Payroll unaffected by CCIT fire

By Ayse Guner

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Financial services barraged by concerned employees calls, e-mails

Employees of the UA will be paid on time.

After several hours of assessment Tuesday night at the Center for Computing Information Technology computer room, the server systems were brought up again, preventing any delay of payroll for this week.

UPS - uninterruptible power supply - capacitor explosion caused an electrical fire about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday and the entire building was evacuated. The explosion also affected servers controlled by CCIT such as payroll, e-mail, SABIO and other instructional services.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, a technician from Leibert Company in Phoenix, the maintenance vendor, worked on the UPS sections of the equipment and got the system running again, said Craig Cook, CCIT computer operations manager.

All systems were restarted two hours later and the payroll was printed on schedule.

The part that failed was one of three modules in the UPS and the cost of the damages will be unknown until the company does the repair work, he said. The power supply is on a maintenance contract and it costs $180,000.

None of the other servers were affected because of the failure.

"We do a lot of things to keep from having these kinds of problems," Cook said.

UPS receives electric power from the city and distributes to the computers in the CCIT. In case of a power shortage, the supply also serves as a back-up system to protect the university's data. It has the capability of keeping the power on for up to 40 minutes and runs about 120 computers in one room.

"If we didn't have UPS, all the computers would stop working (if there is a failure)," Cook said.

There are two UPSs in the CCIT, one of which is five years old and the other is more than three years old.

"I have never seen this happen before," said Cook, who has been working for 30 years at the CCIT.

The UA financial services sent an e-mail to the university community explaining the situation after receiving numerous calls today from people concerned about their payroll, said Suzanne Zimbardo, financial services payroll manager.

"We didn't have any interruption in our service," she said. "We are very fortunate to have electricians down there."