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.

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 – 2020/21

  • Fri 6th (from 5pm) Sat 7th, Sun 8th, Mon 9th November 2020
  • Fri 22nd (from 5pm), Sat 23rd, Sun 24th, Mon 25th January 2021
  • Fri 2nd, Sat 3rd, Sun 4th, Mon 5th April 2021
  • Fri 25th (from 5pm) , Sat 26th, Sun 27th, Mon 28th June 2021

Change Freeze* – 2020/21

  • Mon 5th July – Fri 30th July 2021 - Pre-confirmation and Clearing – Soft Freeze
  • Sat 31st July – Tues 31st Aug 2021 - Main Confirmation and clearing – Hard Freeze
  • Wed 1st Sept – Fri 29th Oct 2021 - Registration – Soft Freeze

System Downtime – 2021/22

  • Fri 5th (from 5pm) Sat 6th, Sun 7th, Mon 8th November 2021
  • Fri 21st (from 5pm), Sat 22nd , Sun 23rd, Mon 24th January 2022
  • Fri 15th, Sat 16th, Sun 17th, Mon 18th April 2022
  • Fri 24th (from 5pm) , Sat 25th, Sun 26th, Mon 27th June 2021

Change Freeze* – 2021/22

  • Mon 4th July – Fri 29th July 2022 - Pre-confirmation and Clearing – Soft Freeze
  • Sat 30th July – Wed 31st Aug 2022 - Main Confirmation and clearing – Hard Freeze
  • Thurs 1st Sept – Fri 29th Oct 2022 -  Registration – Soft Freeze