UNSW students are facing the prospect that some information saved to the university's online storage has been lost for good after a 16 hour-long outage this month blamed on IBM.
“Regrettably, some students may have lost some data in the outage,” UNSW said in a statement to students.
The statement advised that “any data generated after approximately 8pm Monday 4 June to 11.28 Tuesday 5 June has not been recovered.
“The matter was the result of an outage from IBM. Please accept our apologies if these IT issues have caused you inconvenience or stress.”
The confirmation of the data loss prompted UNSW to advise students “who have been impacted academically by this disruption to lodge a special consideration request as soon as possible”.
“We also appreciate the IT outage may have caused you to experience stress,” the notice said, providing links to UNSW counselling and psychological services.
The institution describes the UNSW File Service as providing “a centralised storage space for individual users and groups” with each user allocated “a set amount of storage on this facility”.
“Files are accessible independent of computers, devices and location. Users can access their personal or shared storage space from any computer on campus, via the UniWide wireless service or from home,” the UNSW description states.
iTnews has contacted both UNSW and IBM seeking details about the extent of the outage.
The university said that “over coming months [it] will be moving to Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business”.
The incident comes as universities across Australia continue to rail against government funding cuts that peak group Universities Australia says will total around $2.3 billion by 2021.
“[The cuts] couldn’t come at a worse time," Universities Australia's chief executive designate Catriona Jackson said.
"Australia needs university graduates if we are to maintain our prosperity and survive the major disruption our economy and workplaces face."