Downtime Policy

The Office for Information Technology (OIT) works hard to minimize downtime for the campus.  But only through regular maintenance, which sometimes requires downtime, can we ensure maximum uptime for the network and all systems.  Often the maintenance work requires contact with vendors or consultants during the work.

There are three types of downtime:

  1. Regular maintenance
  2. Emergency
  3. Major

Regular Maintenance

Most downtime will fall under the regular maintenance category.  The Information Technology Committee (ITC) determined that the optimal time for downtime for regular maintenance is Friday afternoon from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.   This time period impacts few faculty, staff or students while allowing OIT staff to work with vendors during their business hours.   Whenever possible, regular maintenance will be done during these hours. Often maintenance is not required and there is no Friday downtime.

OIT will notify the campus via Daily Messages early in the week if there is to be downtime on a given Friday. They will list the services that will be unavailable.  If the work must last more than two hours they will make sure the community knows the estimated time.  Occasionally work takes longer than anticipated.  When possible, OIT will send email to the community at the earliest reasonable opportunity.  OIT makes every effort to   contact departments that may be most affected ahead of time to coordinate the date. OIT also asks people in the Daily Message to let them know if there is a problem with the date of which OIT is unaware.

If the systems undergoing maintenance impact a major part of the community, OIT will send an all-campus email.

Emergency Downtime

Occasionally there may be an emergency situation where performing maintenance cannot wait until the normal Friday downtime during the academic year.   In these rare circumstances, OIT will confer with the departments most affected and notify the community via an all-campus email.

Major Downtime

More major work and upgrades are saved for breaks during the academic year and for the summer.  Throughout the summer there may be downtimes for specific services.  At least one weekend day each summer, OIT may need to have all systems down for part of a day (maximum of 12 hours).  This work will be done outside of normal business hours and will be coordinated with the Conference Office and other offices with specific needs.  The date for summer downtime will be chosen at least 6 weeks in advance.  The campus community will be notified of major downtime work in summer and during breaks by an all-campus email when the date is selected and again at least two weeks in advance.  A reminder will be sent via Daily Messages 2 days before the downtime.