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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines

ADMINISTRATIVE

Guideline UL-ADG10 CAT DOWNTIME

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Assumptions
  • Read-Only Access to the CAT
  • Unscheduled/Emergency Down Time
  • Detailed Procedures for Going to “Read-Only” Mode

PURPOSE:

To provide guidelines for the SIRSI Steering Committee (SSC) and Digital Library Technologies (DLT) in making decisions concerning appropriate actions when access to the production server and consequently the Libraries’ CATalog must be interrupted due to emergency downtime or maintenance procedures.

ASSUMPTIONS:

Downtime will be infrequent. In most cases the span of downtime will be predicted by tests that have occurred prior to maintenance. Estimates may vary due to differences among servers but are reasonably reliable. Whenever possible, DLT will work within the Tuesday 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. maintenance window.

Any downtime extending beyond the established two-hour Tuesday morning maintenance window will be scheduled during breaks or during periods of lowest demand such as, when the library is closed overnight on Friday and Saturday during the fall and spring semesters, or other times of the year when the library closes for business at 5:00 p.m. If necessary, maintenance during other times, such as overnight during the fall and spring semesters when the library is open 24 hours, will be negotiated between DLT and SSC. In any event where downtime is involved, the Sirsi Steering Committee or the Libraries will put a notification up of the pending downtime.

READ-ONLY ACCESS TO THE CAT:

Resynchronizing the database from production to test provides the most current data for users who will have access to the read-only version of the CAT on the test server and to staff who may run reports. However, the time required to prepare for “read-only” mode by resynchronizing is approximately three hours prior to bringing the CAT up in read-only mode, followed by one hour post-downtime, delaying by one-half day any maintenance work conducted.

In all but the most crucial circumstances, downtime extending between a few hours and up to one day will be scheduled during break periods, or as described above during overnight periods when services are not provided in the library. In these cases it is not necessary to provide the CAT in read-only mode.

In all cases when downtime will exceed one day, whether during breaks or when classes are in session, the servers will be resynchronized and the CAT will be available to users and staff in read-only mode.

UNSCHEDULED/EMERGENCY DOWN TIME:

In the event of a critical incident requiring unanticipated downtime, DLT will resolve the problem as quickly as possible and will keep the SSC informed of the progress.

DETAILED PROCEDURES FOR GOING TO “READ-ONLY” MODE:

Detailed Procedures Chart
Mandatory?
Action
Amount of time required
Who does this?
Yes
Add notice of pending read-only service several days before read-only status
5 minutes
I-Tech (Create text)
DLT (Modify system.env file)
No
Sync the production data to the read-only server
2 hours -- Note: This can be done before scheduled downtime.
DLT
Yes
Prepare the read-only server for "read-only" operation
1/2 hour
DLT
Yes
Suspend reports on the read-only server and production server
1/2 hour
I-Tech
Yes
Move users to the read-only server
1/2 hour
DLT
Yes

Make sure Angel works against the read-only server
5 minutes
DLT
Perform actions that required production to be down.
Yes
Move users back to the production server.
1/2 hour
DLT
Yes
Make sure Angel works back on the production server. 
5 minutes
DLT
Yes
Take Unicorn down on the "read-only" server and undo the changes to get it ready for read-only.
1/2 hour -- Note that this can be done while users are actively using the production server.
DLT
Yes
Un-suspend reports
1-2 hours
I-Tech
Yes
Remove notice of read-only service
5 minutes
DLT

Effective Date: December 13, 2007
Date Approved: December 13, 2007 (IT Strategies)
Date Approved:  February 2008 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • December 13, 2007 -- New guideline

Last Review Date:  December 2007