ITSS staff completed two major infrastructure improvements on January 5. On this Saturday, which coincided with OIT outages also planned for that weekend, we brought down most of our servers in order to do a major upgrade to our network. At the same time, we made improvements to our virtual server infrastructure in order to respond to problems that we experienced on December 19.
Both of these changes were very successful, and we expect that these changes will prevent a recurrence of problems that caused outages on December 19 and August 22. Both of these outages were traced back to errors in vendor-supplied software, but they were very frustrating nonetheless.
Setting aside the first Saturday in January was a very successful strategy for us to make these types of major changes with minimal impact. We anticipate taking similar action on January 4, 2014.