The services provided to UAS staff by the UIS, such as email or electronic file storage, are typically hosted by large computers referred to as servers.
Servers are designed to remain operational 24 hours a day, to ensure that the services they provide are always available. However, the software that they run requires regular updating, as small issues are identified and resolved by the software suppliers.
This process of updating servers usually requires a period of time during which the new software can be installed and the relevant server restarted: when this happens the services provided by a server are subject to interruption and unavailability.
To try to reduce these periods to a minimum, UIS has a maintenance schedule that allows for servers to be updated and restarted regularly without overly interfering with staff working hours.
Updates are applied between 6.15am and 8.00pm on both the first and third Tuesday of each month. An email notification will be sent out in advance of an update session to remind staff. The following services are liable to interruption when the updates are applied:
On the first Tuesday:
- Email via Outlook, webmail or remote device synchronisation
- Staff home directories [drive M:]
- Departmental and section directories [on various drives, but mainly K: and Y:]
- Divisional directories [drive R:]
- Common data [drive J:]
- Estate Management applications [eg Cymap, PlanetFM, NET2]
- ROO Intranet
- X5 SQL databases
- UPK web interface
- COGNOS Development services
- Cheque printing
- UAS Remote Access service
On the third Tuesday:
- Supportworks Service Desk application
- BACS service
- SQL back-end databases
- Trend BMS
- Triaster web service
- Sharepoint services
Exceptions to the Schedule
Critical updates may be applied at any time, with appropriate notification to UAS staff. The maintenance schedule is occasionally suspended at times of critical work for UAS staff, such as the Examination Results’ entry period.