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Notification of Potential Service Interruptions

ITS “Downtime” Policy

ITS has a policy governing the way we notify users of our services about activities that have known potential to interrupt access to networks or systems. These would be things like upgrades to the ITS Central Exchange Server or UVaCollab that require us to block user logins, server maintenance to the UVa Hive that causes certain software to be unavailable, or planned activity by Facilities Management that affects electrical service to buildings where we have equipment. Some things, like thunderstorms or construction crews cutting powerlines, are beyond our control and definitely not planned. We will also be letting you know about these when they've interrupted our service and problems may be continuing.

The primary mechanism for notification about service interruptions will be a posting (notice) to the "ITS News Service" section of ITSWeb, ITS's comprehensive computing and communications website.

Additional mechanisms for distributing news about service interruptions include:

Email to the mailing list (which includes the mailing list for LSPs at UVa); subscribe at to get downtime emails sent to your personal mailbox.

Email to when Apple/Macintosh systems are especially impacted; subscribe at

The ITS RSS feed (learn more at

A global notice posting on every page of ITSWeb (located under a page's masthead) if a critical system is impacted.

A posting in System Status; you can also subscribe to the System Status mailing list at

If you need additional information about accessing any of these mechanisms, please contact the UVa Help Desk at 924-HELP (434-924-4357).

These notices will be labeled on the first line as “ITS Planned Downtime,” “ITS Unplanned Downtime,” “ITS Emergency Downtime” or “ITS Service Notice.” The last category is for activities that we do not anticipate will impact users of our machines or facilities, but which, nevertheless have that potential.

In the case of planned downtimes or work notices, we will be giving at least 48 hours' advance notice. As soon as possible after an unplanned outage, ITS staff will post information which includes a brief description of the extent, duration, and cause of these interruptions and also indicates any ongoing problems that may have resulted. ITS staff will notify the UVa Help Desk of all downtimes and will provide the Help Desk with information about possible problems caused by these situations along with suggested solutions. Unless otherwise specified, you should call the UVa Help Desk at 924-HELP (434-924-4357) with any questions that you might have.

In addition to postings on ITSWeb and the above listed mechanisms, ITS staff in various areas will develop additional, targeted notification procedures. Wherever practical we will make those of you on an affected system or network aware of the existence of these lists so that you can identify yourselves or colleagues who should be included as well.

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