Thursday, October 04, 2012

CIT's Maintenance Window

What is the maintenance window?

The "maintenance window" refers to a recurring block of time during which CIT performs networking updates to Calvin's servers and networking infrastructure. All non-emergency updates are completed during the scheduled maintenance window. Currently, the maintenance window is Thursday morning from 5am-7am. As you can see, we have chosen a window of time that is least likely to be disruptive for faculty and staff.

If there is an emergency update or unplanned outage to be performed immediately, you will be notified via e-mail through the CIT-Alert listserv (all faculty and staff are automatically subscribed).

What does this mean for me?

CIT's scheduled networking maintenance has little to no impact on faculty and staff. The early morning time frame offers the least amount of work disruption and also accounts for enough time to roll back and update if it fails or causes other problems.

The only thing to note is that often servers are shut down and rebooted during the network maintenance window. If your computer is logged in and connected to these servers during the maintenance window, you may return to find various symptoms such as an error on your computer, your network folders appearing blank/empty, or errors when trying to open files that are saved on the network. It is important to always shut down or log off of your workstation each evening in order to maintain the security of Calvin's network and data, but it is especially important to do so on Wednesday evening. When you return to work on Thursday and restart or log back in, your computer will automatically reconnect to each server and you will avoid these disruptions. If you did not shut down or log off on Wednesday evening and notice any of these symptoms on a Thursday morning, they can be corrected by rebooting the computer and logging back in as normal.

How do I know what is being changed?

CIT publishes a maintenance blog which lists any significant networking updates as well as desktop updates (desktop updates are delivered to you through ZENworks on a PC or Absolute Manage on a Mac). To view networking updates, look for the most recent date under the Planned Network/Server Updates heading on the right. To view desktop updates, scroll down to the "Desktop Software Changes" heading on the right.

CIT Maintenance Blog