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Monthly Maintenance Schedules

The Demac Media Infrastructure Team will perform its regular monthly maintenance program on the first Wednesday of each month starting at 6:00 AM EST/EDT. The monthly maintenance program is a preventive measure that is essential to providing stable and secure systems to our hosting customers.

Background

Periodic maintenance on infrastructure systems is mandatory. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Security patches
  • Hardware upgrades
  • Software patches and upgrades
  • Software and component installations
  • Re-configurations
  • Server reboots
  • Availability and fail-over testing

Maintenance is scheduled to last no longer than four (4) hours.

Monthly Maintenance Plan

The plan defines a single monthly time for maintenance across infrastructure systems. Monthly maintenance is scheduled from 6:00 AM EST/EDT until 10:00 AMEST/EDT on the first Wednesday of each month. Even though the maintenance period calls for four hours, interruptions to customers are typically brief. Customers are notified via email in advance of prolonged system down time during the week prior to the maintenance procedure.

Justification

The plan seeks to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Suitable employee and vendor support. Experience has taught us that overall quality of support during overnight hours is unacceptable, and that availability of experienced engineers is significantly better during the day. Since risks and the resulting need for support is highest during maintenance procedures (e.g. system reboots, patch installation and software upgrades), maintenance should be scheduled during daytime hours to minimize downtime. 
  • Minimize service interruption to customers. Although the maintenance is scheduled for a four hour time period, interruption to customers is brief for several reasons.
    • Maintenance on each individual server may last from five to 20 minutes on average. The plan schedules four hours due to the total number of servers being maintained.
  • Identify an overall low network utilization period for maintenance. Weekend evenings tend to show higher utilization than weekend mornings.
  • Sufficient time to complete maintenance and resolve problems when they occur.
  • Avoid schedule conflicts with database and system backups. All system and database backups run during the evening and early morning hours.
  • A single consolidated maintenance period for all infrastructure systems and networking. A single monthly maintenance period eliminates confusion for customers, minimizes the number of service disruptions, and provides coordination for the Demac Media Infrastructure Team along with outside vendors if required.

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