Sac State Canvas goes down due to too many people accessing at once

‘These outages are extremely painful,’ IRT officer says


Patrick Posuniak

A photo illustration depicts a 504 gateway error message that displayed for students and faculty trying to access Canvas, Sac State’s cloud based instruction and content management system on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Canvas crashed when too many people were trying to access the website at once according to Mark Hendricks, interim vice president & chief information officer for Sac State Information Resources & Technology. Graphic created in Canva.

Colin Madigan

Sacramento State students experienced a Canvas outage due to too many people accessing the website Wednesday. 

Canvas is a cloud service, like Microsoft O365 or Gmail that Sac State students and faculty access for tests, assignments and other academic resources. 

Canvas reported an outage creating long page loads and eventual “508 gateway error” or “This website is under heavy load (request timed out)” error messages according to the Information Resources and Technology team in a SacSend email to students. As of 2:44 p.m. the Canvas Status Page showed that all systems were operational.

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“Initially Canvas was reporting this as a partial outage, then they updated it as a full outage,” said Mark Hendricks, interim vice president & chief information officer for IRT. “We don’t know why Canvas went down.”

Hendrick sent The State Hornet a message sent from Canvas management to Sac State IRT at 2:15 p.m.:

Hendricks said IRT started to receive reports at about 1:30 p.m. that some students and faculty were receiving an error. 

“We believe this has been resolved, but are waiting on confirmation,” Hendericks said. 

“These outages are extremely painful,” Hendricks said. “Fortunately it looked like they fixed it. We will work through the CSU and our rep to let Canvas know how big of an impact these outages have on the campus.”