Outage Notification
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Last Updated: 24 Oct 2003

Despite our best efforts, systems such as computers and networks fail, sometimes during the worst possible times for students (e.g., before an assignment is due or during a presentation).

When a computer or network that is supposed to be operational fails, we say that it is "down" or that an "outage" has occurred. This is considered to be a "unscheduled outage", as opposed to a scheduled one, in which we plan on taking down a system.

Although lab staff try to keep the systems operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24x7) during the quarter, we do not have enough staff to provide coverage for every hour. This means that outside of lab staff office hours, there is no one monitoring the systems. In other words, at night, on the weekends and on holidays, no one is watching the systems.

We hope to decrease the chances of systems going down by purchasing additional hardware, but that depends on our finances as well as our understanding of how to make the systems more available.

Notify Us

At any time, if a system goes down and you are able to send email, then please send it to csslab@u.washington.edu and indicate the name of the system that failed and any other pertinent information.

Outage Policy

Here is our policy:

  1. During regular office hours and barring any meetings or other problems we (lab staff) are attending to:

    1. We will respond within an hour of receipt of the outage email to all Institute students, faculty and staff, after a preliminary investigation of the outage.

    2. The lab news page will be updated to reflect the status of the outage as well as to indicate that the system is available.

      Note that the ability for us to update the web page and for you to see the status via a web page depends on the web server, the file server and the network to be operational.

    3. After the above, we will start to work in earnest on the problem.

    We will not respond to email individually, as we may receive a lot of email about the same problem and responding individually is counterproductive to diagnosing and fixing the problem.

  2. During the last three weeks of a quarter, we will carry a pager which will alert us of most system failures, and we will respond as above within an hour of receipt of the page.

    We will also check email occasionally during that time.

  3. At all other times: we will respond on the next business day, as above.

Change Log

24 Oct 2003 Original document

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