UACES Facebook IT Scheduled Maintenance

Scheduled Monthly Maintenance Plan – Information Technology

Information Technology will perform its scheduled monthly maintenance on the third Sunday of each month starting at 1:00 AM and ending at 11:00 PM. The monthly maintenance program is a preventive measure that is essential to providing stable and secure systems to the organization.

2017 IT Maintenance Schedule
2018 IT Maintenance Schedule

Background

To provide the best possible service, CES IT must regularly update and perform routine maintenance on its systems and networks. Some of these activities require that the affected systems and networks be shut down. While this work is essential, we also recognize that it presents an inconvenience. To enable those who use these systems to better plan for maintenance, we are establishing a new “Scheduled Monthly Maintenance Plan” for performing routine maintenance and upgrades to our services.

Periodic maintenance on IT systems is mandatory. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Security patches
  • Hardware upgrades
  • Software patches and upgrades
  • Software and component installations
  • Re-configurations
  • Server reboots
  • Availability and fail-over testing

Maintenance usually lasts anywhere from four to six hours but the whole 22 hour period is reserved. Many times, if a server is going to fail, it will happen during the reboots that are required during maintenance.

Note:  Software patches, upgrades and installations do not include any major changes to the Banner system. These types of maintenance will still need to be planned and scheduled by the Banner committee.

Monthly Maintenance Plan

The plan defines a single monthly time for maintenance across Information Technology systems. Monthly maintenance is scheduled from 1:00 AM until 11:00 PM on the third Sunday of each month. Even though the maintenance period calls for 22 hours, interruptions to end-users are typically brief. During the week prior to maintenance, end-users will be notified via email of any major system outage. However, no notification will be sent for standard maintenance that only affects systems for short periods of time.

Justification
The plan seeks to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Suitable vendor support since availability of experienced engineers is significantly better during the day. Since risks and the resulting need for support is highest during maintenance procedures (e.g. system reboots, patch installation and software upgrades), maintenance should be scheduled during daytime hours to minimize downtime.
  • Minimize service interruption to end-users. Although the maintenance is scheduled for a 22 hour time period, interruption to end-users is usually brief for the following reason.
    • Maintenance on each individual server may last from five to 20 minutes on average. The plan schedules 22 hours due to the total number of servers being maintained.
  • Identify an overall low network utilization period for maintenance. Sundays usually show the least amount of activity.
  • Sufficient time to complete maintenance and resolve problems when they occur.
  • Avoid schedule conflicts with database and system backups. All system and database backups run during the evening and early morning hours.
  • Avoid administrative calendar conflicts. A scheduled maintenance for the third Sunday of the month usually avoids conflicts with most administrative activities.
  • A single consolidated maintenance period for all CES IT systems and networking. A single monthly maintenance period eliminates confusion for end-users, minimizes the number of service disruptions, and provides coordination for the IT infrastructure groups.

Unplanned Outages

This plan does not exclude the need for an occasional unplanned outage. On rare occasions, security vulnerabilities or performance problems may necessitate unscheduled outages during normal work hours.  Every effort will be made to inform the organization of these outages ahead of time and services will be restored as quickly as possible.

Maintenance Blackouts

Exceptions to the maintenance schedule will be shown on the calendar as “Blackouts”. These exceptions are in force to alleviate any system changes or outages that may affect peak business cycles.

Along with scheduled blackouts, there may be times that the regularly scheduled maintenance must be cancelled. Notification must be sent to CES IT in advance if a cancellation is required. The cancellation request will be evaluated and a final determination made as quickly as possible.