6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2015 4:42 PM by Owen Dickenson

    When are your maintenance windows ?

    Richard Post Guide

      When are your maintenance windows ?


      This was a question that often is asked because we look to install when schools can have a scheduled outage window.  Most schools have some sort of Summer and Winter Break or at least an inter-session in which work can be performed.  Some schools have such a tight SLA to their customers that no work can be done outside of these breaks.   Other schools have performed changes over a normal mid-session weekend, or minor changes even during a production weekday during the day.   The question was to have customers give their planning strategies to each other regarding this hot topic so that they may benefit from how you each individually complete your maintenance and upgrade tasks.

        • Re: When are your maintenance windows ?
          John Siegel Guide

          Hi Rich,


                        Are you referring to frequency, or the time of day?



          • Re: When are your maintenance windows ?
            Bill Kasper Guide

            Richard Post, our Windows 2008R2 servers auto-upgrade at 3 am Monday mornings, so if the shite hits the fan I'm there first thing to repair them.


            Otherwise we just keep ticking along.  If I need to do any hotfixes to Uniprint, I wait until close of business, then apply.  So far no one has twigged that's when I do it.


            Occasionally, when something needs restarting (say, the Pharos services on the server) I'll just do it whenever it is needed, and given it takes such a short amount of time no one has ever complained.


            Looking forward to the RPHTTMPv2 in the Big Easy...



            • Re: When are your maintenance windows ?
              Gene Mayro Tracker

              We have a weekly reboot on Saturdays from 5am-6am for Windows patches. The servers only reboot if they need to.


              We have a production control process where application and server changes have to be submitted, reviewed, and scheduled at least a week in advance. These scheduled changes have to be done before 8am or after 6pm on weekdays, or anytime on weekends. We can do an emergency fix immediately, though. We try to schedule Uniprint updates and fixes when printing is at its lightest, which for us is before 7:30am, or early Saturday and Sunday mornings. We will not do a major upgrade during the semesters, though. We'll do that during the inter-sessions.



              • Re: When are your maintenance windows ?
                zhopkins Wayfarer

                We have weekly maintenance windows on Friday evenings.  These are perfect for applying small patches/hotfixes for Pharos or Windows Updates.  Any version upgrades, such as when we went from 9.0 to 9.0R2, are saved for one of our recess periods (summer, fall break, the winter holidays, or spring break).


                The majority of our Pharos devices are in our Library, which remains open 24/5 during the school year, and 24/7 during exams.  This can sometimes make things a little trickier, but at worst, a particular update might be delayed by a week or two.

                • Re: When are your maintenance windows ?
                  Francois Grenier Adventurer

                  Hi Rich,


                  For operating security patches, they are scheduled and install automatically during the night.  For minor application patches (pcounter, print server update,etc.), they are done manually and scheduled based on the time of the year.  We normally do them early in the morning, say 6AM - 7AM.  Since there is minimal downtime and no functionnality change (i.e. *should* be transparent to users), changes can be done any day.


                  For major version upgrades, because it involves a few hours of downtime and more visible changes to users we aim to do the work between semesters, ideally between Spring and Summer.  It is also noteworthy that our implementation of Pharos is also extensively used by staff so it complicates negociations with the business owner!

                  • Re: When are your maintenance windows ?
                    Owen Dickenson Newbie

                    For security patches to the operating system(s) we patch and reboot as necessary at 0500 on different days of the week for different bits of the platform.


                    Our service is available (not necessarily with attend helpdesk etc) for use 24x7x365, excepting periods of planned maintenance during defined 'at risk' periods.


                    These are currently defined as Tuesday mornings 7am - 9am and Thursday evenings 6:30pm to 10:30pm.


                    Both the Staff and Student Smart Printing services (and associated supporting services) are subject to three annual service evenings, during which the service is offline while any maintenance and upgrades requiring downtime take place. These take place between 4:00pm and 10:30pm on a Thursday afternoon/evening. The dates on which these take place are calculated as follows:

                    • The Thursday immediately following the Easter weekend.
                    • The last Thursday in August.
                    • The last working Thursday in December, provided neither that day or the Friday after are the last working day of the year, in which case the Thursday immediately prior to this is used.


                    We find that this fits in with our usage patterns and patterns of business activity. It also allows us to do some monitoring after deployment before University closure dates.