QUOTE(Electrical Section @ May 31 2010, 02:33 PM)
Please note that the Electricity supply to the entire campus will be interrupted on Sunday 6 June 2010 between 08h30 and 16h30 so that the Municipality can carry out urgent maintenance on their network. Should there be poor weather on the day then the maintenance will be carried out on the 13th June 2010. Please treat all electrical circuits as "live" during the periods indicated above, as the power may be restored at any time.

Whilst it is obvious that all computers on campus are likely to be affected by this outage, it might not be entirely apparent what the other ICT implications are. In general you should assume that the networking in any building that does not have power will not work, even if you're using a laptop that does have power or you have a UPS. The network centres in the vast majority of buildings on campus do not have redundant power.

The following things should not be affected by this power outage:
  • All central services (e-mail, web site, Internet access, file services, etc) served out of the University's Struben & AMM data centres. This implies that people who are off campus or otherwise have access to the network or Internet will be able to continue working as normal.
  • The SEALS shared library service
  • The wireless network in the Africa Media Matrix, Barratt lecture complex, main Library, and Struben building.
  • Some telephony services (see below)

The following things will only be affected some time after the power outage starts:
  • All aggregation switches (i.e. locations that provide network access to multiple buildings) all have UPSes that are designed to last approximately three hours. By implication, networking in the buildings housing these switches will last for approximately the same time.
  • All dining halls have UPSes that last approximately three hours, and will maintain the meal booking system for this time.
  • Some telephony services (see below)

Telephony implications:
  • the PBX node in Beethoven house depend on mains power, and will be affected immediately. This will affect most phones on St Peters' campus.
  • the PBX nodes in Eden Grove and the Bantu Steve Biko building are protected by small UPSes and will survive for a few hours after power fails. This will affect phones in the buildings mentioned, and some smaller buildings North of Prince Alfred street.
  • the PBX nodes in the Barratt lecture complex and Main Admin have battery capacity for between eight and twelve hours, and will likely survive the entire duration of the outage.
  • the PBX nodes in Struben & AMM are powered by generator, and will not be affected.
  • all IP telephones depend on mains power to function, and are likely to be unavailable for the duration of the power outage. There are ~ 300 such extensions in various locations on campus.
  • When phoning an telephone that is affected by a power outage you'll hear an out-of-service tone.
  • Remember that you can use a cell phone to contact emergency services even when power is out and fixed telephones might not function.

Once power is restored, networking in the affected areas should automatically recover. Users should wait about ten minutes after power returns before turning on (or rebooting) their computers in order to allow the network to stabilise. In the unlikely event that a particular building doesn't recover from the outage, our network monitoring system will alert us of this and we will attend to it as soon as possible on Monday morning -- you don't need to contact us about this.