2011/08/02 - Core Network Maintenance
On Tuesday 2 August we'll be undertaking major maintenance work on the University's core network from 7PM onwards.

Whilst the maintenance work is in progress, you can expect all ICT services at Rhodes to be unavailable. This includes, for example, Internet access, network access, email, home directories, printing, public computer labs, telephones, etc -- if it isn't stored on your own computer, do not expect to be able to access it. While it is possible that at times some or all of these services may be available, you can expect them to be unreliable or to become unavailable without any warning.

This maintenance work is the first to take advantage of the scheduled maintenance window that was approved by the ITSC last year. The approved maintenance window starts at 5.30PM, but to reduce the impact of this we've elected to only begin service-affecting work from 7PM. It is uncertain how long the planned work will take, but you should not expect to be able to make use of any ICT services before midnight at the earliest. It is expected that all work will be completed well before the end of the approved maintenance period (7.30AM on Thursday morning).
During the maintenance period, we'll be replacing the two existing (and somewhat aged) core switches that provide network connectivity to every building on campus. This entails physically unplugging every building on campus from the network, removing a switch, replacing it, and then re-connecting each building. This has to repeated twice (once in Struben and again in AMM). It is likely that the process will take some time, not least of which is because the old switches are physically very heavy and difficult to move.

The core switches will be replaced with new switches. However this is only an interim solution that is necessary to allow us to continue with work on the University's distribution network. At some point in the future (most likely during the course of next year) they'll be replaced again. However we anticipate this second round of replacements to be significantly less disruptive.
QUOTE(guy @ Jul 29 2011, 11:25 AM)
the end of the approved maintenance period (7.30AM on Thursday morning).

This should read 7.30AM Wednesday morning.
The scheduled maintenance work is complete and, as of 2AM, the vast majority of our network appears to be functioning normally. Internet access is currently still problematic, but we expect this to be restored within the next ten minutes or so.

There are some minor outstanding issues that we're aware of. One such problem is that some part of campus will be unable to register new computers (although existing ones will work fine). As these affect a very small minority of people, they'll be attended to later in the day during normal working hours.

People may need to reboot their computers and/or telephones in order to get them to reconnect to the network.