The University of Newcastle, Australia

Maintenance schedule

IT maintenance is required to ensure the ongoing performance & reliability of our IT systems. Regular maintenance periods are scheduled to minimise the impact on the vital operations in the University calendar. The dates on this calendar have been discussed with relevant business representatives.

Explanation of the maintenance types are listed below the table and details of planned outages can be found on the IT Service Portal.

Reminders for these maintenance periods will be sent out when appropriate via Staff and Student communication avenues, including screensavers, digital signage, All Staff emails, and social media channels.

2019 schedule

START DATEFINISH DATEMAINTENANCE TYPE

Sat 23 Nov 08:00

Sat 23 Nov 20:00

Minor Maintenance (click here for more information)

Thu 28 Nov 08:00

Fri 6 Dec 18:00

Change Freeze – Trimester 1 Exams

Mon 9 Dec 08:00

Thu 19 Dec 18:00

Change Freeze – Singapore Trimester 1 Exams

Sat 21 Dec 08:00

Sat 21 Dec 20:00

Minor Maintenance

Maintenance explanation

A period of time allocated for system maintenance. During these windows ALL services may experience interruptions. Notification of affected systems will be done on the IT Service portal (serviceUON) & on the IT maintenance schedule website. Throughout the year we have two types of windows, the difference between the two is simply the duration of the window:

  • Minor is a 12-hour window.
  • Major is a 36-hour window.

A small window when there is little impact on the users:

  • Blackboard – externally hosted. Friday morning between 2am and 6am.
  • UON managed systems - Friday mornings between 5am & 7am. There may be short outages to systems during this window, these will be advertised on serviceUON & the website.

A day allocated to ensure our Disaster Recovery systems and plan are operational. During this day ALL services may experience interruptions, and some systems will be unavailable for the duration of the test. Notifications of affected systems will be published well in advance.

No changes to systems are to be scheduled during this period to minimise risk in these student focused periods (start of semesters 1&2). The only changes during this period will be in response to, or to prevent major incidents, or to address ‘critical’ security patches.

During a change freeze, systems supporting UON critical and key student processes will not be changed unless in response to, or to prevent a major incident, or to address ‘critical’ or ‘important’ security patches. The periods where change freezes apply are:

  • Supporting UON Critical Processes (as defined by the 2018 Business Continuity Planning review conducted by UON Assurance Services)
    • Student Admissions
    • Student Enrolments
    • Student Teaching (including timetabling)
    • Student Census & Fees
    • Student Exams
    • Research grant applications
    • Maintaining critical research
    • Paying Staff & Creditors
  • UON Key Student Processes
    • Key Student Dates: Orientation Week, Start of teaching, Last day to add, Last day to drop, Fully graded date
    • Graduations
    • Open Days
    • Student Accommodation Check In and Check Out weekends

Periods throughout the year where changes to nominated systems are avoided if possible.  Generally changes will only be made during these periods at the request of the business and if the risk is low. Change awareness periods apply:

  • In the days leading up to the key student deadlines, listed in the Change Freeze section above
  • When key business support processes are scheduled:
    • finance end of month,
    • finance end of year,
    • Excellence in Research Australia (3 yearly review, next due in 2021)

Some major outages and upgrades for systems are:

  • Squiz upgrade – January 29 through February 1
  • HPC outage – February 25 through March 1
  • Blackboard upgrade – December 14 through December 15 (dates to be confirmed)