Information Technology Maintenance

POLICY STATEMENT
 
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) conducts regular scheduled network/systems maintenance on the third Friday of each month from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This schedule allows for Information Technology (IT) maintenance work to be performed and expected by the campus. Communication to the campus goes out the Wednesday prior indicating what systems will be affected by that month’s maintenance window.   The maintenance window may be adjusted due to such events as registration, graduation, or other large events requiring IT resources.
 
DEFINITIONS
 
System reboot: Reload the operating system and restart the computer system
 
Hardware/software upgrades: Replace existing hardware/software with a newer version
 
Patch installation: Install an executable module
 
 
PROCEDURES and RESPONSIBILITIES
 
The Maintenance Schedule
The monthly time for IT maintenance is scheduled from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the third Friday of each month since IT utilization decreases dramatically on Friday afternoons. Even though the maintenance period calls for three hours, interruptions to customers are typically brief. Customers are notified, via e-mail, of system down time on the Wednesday prior to the maintenance procedure. A single monthly maintenance period will eliminate confusion for customers, minimize the number of service disruptions, and provide coordination for the OIT infrastructure groups.
 
Suitable Vendor Support
Quality support available from vendors occurs during regular business hours and 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 will be scheduled during daytime hours to minimize downtime. A Friday afternoon maintenance window allows for vendor support at the normal pay rate and provides the weekend to recover from any disastrous failures that may occur during maintenance.
 
Minimize Service Interruption to Customers
Maintenance on each individual server may last from five to twenty minutes, on average. The maintenance schedules allows for three hours due to the total number of servers being maintained. The level of redundancy inherent in the current infrastructure allows support personnel to perform maintenance on one or more servers while other servers continue to provide services to customers.
 
Avoid Schedule Conflicts with Database and System Backups
All system and database backups run during the evening and early morning hours. This includes the Banner systems. The logical time to avoid schedule conflicts with backups is to complete maintenance prior to running the backup.
 
RELATED DOCUMENTS
  • Technology Governance Committee Minutes: March 1, 2006 (revisions approved via e-mail April 12, 2006)
  • Approved by the President’s Cabinet:   September 11, 2006
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