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Approved Downtime for System Maintenance and Change Freeze Periods IT and Library Services

Introduction

IT Systems and infrastructure require ongoing maintenance to ensure it functions at optimal levels whilst also ensuring the university's environment remains sufficiently upgraded to stay within the prescribed supplier maintenance agreement levels.

Many of these upgrades and releases happen while systems remain available or are sufficiently minor that they can be scheduled into the Tuesday morning at risk window with minimal impact.

Occasionally the work required is sufficiently complex or large that systems are required to be offline for a more prolonged period of time. As the university's IT environment becomes more and more integrated one system being unavailable often directly impacts upon one or more other key systems.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify windows of opportunity and gain agreement whereby the environment can be made unavailable and changes applied.

Conversely, there are periods within the academic year whereby the business activity is so mission critical, Clearing activity and Registration activity, that no IT changes should be introduced into the environment at any time during those processes peak periods.

To ensure the maximum amount of planning for system downtime is afforded it is proposed that four weekend maintenance periods be scheduled into each academic year. This will enable Faculties and Directorates to ensure key events are scheduled away from these windows going forward.

Information and Library Services (ILS) will endeavour to use these maintenance periods for as much work as is possible and practical to be scheduled simultaneously and where a period is not required notification will be provided as early as possible that systems will remain available.

Occasionally unforeseen circumstances or external factors dictate the dates and times when maintenance work must occur and in these instances any periods of additional system unavailability will be communicated as early as possible.

Proposed Schedule

*Change Freeze - low risk routine IT maintenance only

System Downtime – 2017/18 

  • Sat 4, Sun 5, Mon 6 November 2017
  • Sat 27, Sun 28, Mon 29 January 2018
  • Fri 30, Sat 31 March 2018, Sun 1, Mon 2 April 2018
  • Sat 23, Sun 24, Mon 25 June 2018

Change Freeze* – 2017/18

  • August 2018 - Clearing Change Freeze
  • TBC- Registration Change Freeze

System Downtime – 2018/19

  • Sat 3, Sun 4, Mon 5 November 2018
  • Sat 26, Sun 27, Mon 28 January 2019
  • Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21, Mon 22 April 2019
  • Sat 29, Sun 30 June 2019, Mon 1 July 2019

Change Freeze* – 2018/19

  • August 2019 - Clearing Change Freeze
  • TBC - Registration Change Freeze

System Downtime – 2019/20

  • Sat 8, Sun 9, Mon 10 November 2019
  • Sat 24, Sun 25, Mon 26 January 2020
  • Fri 10, Sat 11, Sun 12, Mon 13 April 2020
  • Fri 26, Sat 27, Sun 28 June 2020

Change Freeze* – 2019/20

  • August 2020 - Clearing Change Freeze
  • TBC - Registration Change Freeze