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University Information Services
 

What is happening 

Jackdaw, the University’s user information database, will be taken offline between 09:00 and 18:00 while the operating system and database are upgraded to make them more secure. 

We have timed this upgrade to avoid the busiest times for the Student Registry and UIS User Admin. It is after new postgraduate identities are created (first two weeks of July), one month before A-Level results day in August when the Student Registry confirms new user accounts, and before the Michaelmas matriculation.

There are business continuity plans in place, including rollback, should there be any problems during the upgrade.

Impact

Systems that take user data feeds from Jackdaw will be available but any changes/additions made to user data during the upgrade will not appear in them. Affected systems include: 

  • Raven
  • Lookup
  • CamSIS
  • CHRIS
  • Other systems that connect to Jackdaw via APIs or database links 
  • IPReg will be down. We do not expect changes to DNS, but this will be confirmed by UIS Networks.

Your co-operation is needed 

Please do not plan to perform any actions that involve Jackdaw between 09:00 and 18:00 on Monday 18 July. If you try to make changes that involve Jackdaw's database, you will be redirected to a maintenance page. This will eliminate the possibility of data inconsistencies being introduced during the upgrade. 

How to report issues after the upgrade 

If you should discover any problems or anomalies after the upgrade, report them to the UIS Service Desk at servicedesk@uis.cam.ac.uk, quoting 'Jackdaw upgrade' in the email title so that it can be prioritised quickly and assigned to the Jackdaw team in HEAT for urgent investigation.  

Additional information for IT staff

Technical details

The operating system Jackdaw currently runs on (SLES11) has reached end of support. The Oracle database version is out of support but could not be upgraded because of incompatibility issues with SLES11. To ensure Jackdaw is running on supported platforms, we are upgrading to SLES12 and subsequently, Oracle 19c

Business continuity plan

This upgrade has been approved by the UIS Change Advisory Board (CAB). We have undertaken testing with our technical and user admin teams to prior to performing the upgrade and are now confident in our approach. There is a rollback plan in the event of unforeseen issues arising, and a post-upgrade testing plan to ensure systems have returned to functioning normally.

Contact for IT staff

If you have any queries, please email the project manager.

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Published: Tuesday 6 July

UIS Service Desk

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