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Planned Data Center Outage for Preventive Maintenance
December 22, 2009, Volume 56, No. 16

A Data Center outage will occur on Sunday, January 10: many networked applications and services will be unavailable.

The University Data Center, which houses a number of critical University applications and services, will be taken off-line at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, January 10, for preventive maintenance of electrical systems. We are reserving 12 hours for the outage, until noon on Sunday, though service may be restored somewhat earlier.

During the outage, many central University applications and services will be unavailable, such as BEN applications, research applications, voicemail for traditional analog phones, Blackboard course management, the Franklin catalog, and the applications accessible through U@Penn and the student portal. A list of ISC-managed applications and services affected by the outage will be available at www.upenn.edu/computing/januaryoutage/. Resources managed by other University organizations will be added to the list as information becomes available.

Important ISC services that will remain available include central e-mail services (Exchange and Zimbra), the central web service (www.upenn.edu), and wireless services (AirPennNet and AirPennNet-Guest). Regular wired PennNet, PennNet Phone, PennNet Phone voicemail, and traditional analog phone services will be available except in a handful of buildings affected by the outage: 3401 Walnut (including the shops), Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, Annenberg Center, Annenberg School, Franklin Building, Franklin Annex, 3615 Locust Walk and the Jaffe Building.

Preventive maintenance of the electrical service to the Data Center is critical to ISC’s ability to continue to provide the 24/7 access upon which the Penn community relies. Postponing maintenance is, unfortunately, not an option, as it carries the very real risk of an unplanned disruption that would require extensive emergency recovery time and could have severe consequences for some network-dependent services.

The very difficult decision to proceed on January 10 was made following consultation with many constituencies across the University and careful consideration of many conflicting factors. There is, unfortunately, no “right” time for everyone, and we acknowledge that the outage may cause inconvenience for some. We will do everything we can to ensure that it is as brief as possible.

Thank you for your understanding of this necessary, albeit unwelcome, interruption of service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Local Support Provider (LSP). If you don’t know who your LSP is, please see www.upenn.edu/computing/view/support/.

—Robin Beck, Vice-President,
Information Systems and Computing


Almanac - December 22, 2009, Volume 56, No. 16