Maintenance Window

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) will perform its scheduled monthly technology maintenance on the first Tuesday of each month starting at 2:00 AM and ending at 6:00 AM. Network maintenance will be on the first Sunday of each month starting at 6:00 AM and ending at 12:00 PM. The monthly maintenance program is a preventive measure that is essential to providing stable and secure systems to the University.

Remainder of 2018/2019 Proposed IT Maintenance

Date Status
11/6/18 Scheduled Maintenance
December 2018 Blackout period: no major changes until after finals. Maintenance may occur during closures.
1/8/19 Scheduled Maintenance
2/5/19 Scheduled Maintenance
3/5/19 Scheduled Maintenance
4/2/19 Scheduled Maintenance
May 2019 Blackout period: no major changes or maintenance until after finals.
6/4/19 Scheduled Maintenance, prepare for year-end freeze.

Background

To provide the best possible service, OIT 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 two to 4 hours.

Note: Software patches, upgrades and installations do not include any major changes to Stan State Records. These types of maintenance are planned and scheduled separately by the OIT Application Services team.

Monthly Maintenance Plan

The plan defines a single monthly time for maintenance across OIT systems. Monthly maintenance is scheduled from 2:00 AM until 6:00 AM on the first Tuesday of each month following Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday schedule and gives time for testing of the patches before application. Network maintenance will be during the lowest usage hours of Sunday mornings. 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 work week. 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 time frame where the team and vendors are available to quickly resolve issues.
  • Minimize service interruption to end-users. Although the maintenance is scheduled for a 4-hour time period, interruption to end-users is usually brief.
  • Maintenance on each individual server may last from five to 20 minutes on average.
  • 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 first Tuesday of the month usually avoids conflicts with most administrative activities. Modifications can occur to meet university needs.
  • Scheduling the maintenance period for OIT systems and networking should mitigate confusion, minimize the number of unplanned service disruptions, and provide coordination for the OIT infrastructure teams.

Unplanned Outages (Security Updates and Critical Patches)

This plan does not exclude the need for an occasional unplanned outage. On rare occasions, security vulnerabilities or performance problems may necessitate unscheduled outages. We will aim to only apply these changes in a non-disruptive manner on Tuesday mornings between 2 AM and 6 AM. In the event an outage does occur during normal work hours, every effort will be made to inform the University of these outages and services will be restored as quickly as possible.

Maintenance Blackouts

Exceptions to the maintenance schedule will be shown on the calendar as “Blackouts”. During Blackout periods, no major changes or maintenance will be performed, except as required to respond to or prevent a system outage, service disruption or emergency; or for changes required to comply with business process changes for regulatory systems. These "Blackout" periods correspond to peak usage periods during the academic year (such as prior or directly after start of classes, finals, etc.)

Scheduled Blackouts include:

2 weeks before and after the start of every semester

2 weeks before semester finals until after finals

June 15th through the first week July for Year End processing.

Along with scheduled blackouts, there may be times that the regularly scheduled maintenance must be cancelled. The cancellation request will be evaluated, and a final determination made as quickly as possible.

Please direct all inquiries to TechSupport@csustan.edu.