2008/12/07 - Scheduled Internet Outage
On Sunday 7 December, Neotel will be undertaking scheduled maintenance on Rhodes's Internet connection. As a result of this, we are likely to be without Internet access between 7AM and 5PM.

During the outage all users will be unable to browse the web or access other resources on the Internet (you will most likely experience this as an ERR_DNS_FAIL or ERR_CONNECT_FAIL error when trying to access affected web sites). Any e-mail that is sent or received during the outage will be queued, and will be delivered some time after connectivity is restored. You are strongly advised to plan around this known outage.

Neotel have just requested this maintenance period in order to allow them to address the underlying fibre optic fault that's caused several recent outages (such as the one on 2008/11/18). The circuit in question (between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown) is not protected, and so whilst they're working on it, we'll lose access to the Internet. We've asked Neotel to clarify whether we'll have a complete outage for the entire maintenance window, and are awaiting a response. At the very best, however, you should expect intermittent access during the planned maintenance window.

Neotel have also indicated that they'll take advantage of the same maintenance window to replace the power supply that they haven't yet replaced. This work will cause an outage in its own right, and will occur sometime in the 7AM to 5PM time-frame.
At the same time, we're planning to upgrade the software on the core switch/routers in Struben and AMM data centres, and install new hardware in the switch/router in the AMM data centre. These upgrades will affect almost all network traffic within the campus network.

Provided the upgrade goes smoothly, this work should only cause outages of a few minutes' duration; at worst, the network might be unavailable for a few hours. The time at which the work will occur has not yet been finalised as we're waiting for more information from Neotel, but it will overlap with Neotel's outage between 7 AM and 5 PM. We'll update this post when the times are finalised.
The upgrades to the campus network are now scheduled to begin at 11 AM. We're hoping they'll be completed before 1 PM, but could take longer if there are complications.
Neotel have indicated that they're likely to use the entire ten hour maintenance window. As a result, you should plan to be without Internet access between 7 AM and 5 PM on Sunday.