Technicians to accommodate teaching schedules 

OIT will notify instructors in affected buildings if network outages are required during class times

Monday, January 18, 2010
Sean O'Malley  

Now that Internet access in the classroom is the norm rather than the exception, OIT's infrastructure team faces an added challenge when upgrading academic buildings: scheduling around class times.

In a typical building upgrade, much of the work can be done offline, leaving existing building connections up and running.  Network switches can be prepped and configured independently, new fiber links can be tested in advance, and cable can be run through ceilings and walls in anticipation of the transition.  

Still, once all of the preparation is completed, a building always will require at least one brief network outage while the infrastructure team moves individual connections off of old equipment and onto the new.  Coordinating such outages in administrative buildings is fairly straightforward, since most people can work around a 20 to 30 minute outage of their office Internet connection.  In classrooms, however, it can be hard to predict whether the Internet will be necessary on any given day and time.  

To minimize impact on teaching, OIT attempts to schedule outages outside of normal class hours whenever possible.  In cases where an outage must happen during regular teaching hours, instructors in the affected building will receive advance notice of the work.


Related Links