About IT NoticesIT System Notices (IT Notices), posted and updated by the UITS Support Center, provide timely announcements about the Indiana University computing systems, services, and applications that students, faculty, and staff use daily to achieve academic progress and conduct university business. IT Notices include general announcements, listings of scheduled changes and planned maintenance windows, and notices about outages, problems, and interruptions.
To achieve this mission, staff who create and update IT Notices follow these general guidelines:
Timeliness: IT Notices are published and updated
in a timely manner as soon as Support Center staff determine that a
system outage or interruption has occurred.
Targeted: Information provided within IT Notices
is targeted toward our customers (primarily IU students, faculty, and
staff). IT Notices are not intended as the primary internal UITS
notification for summarizing system outage details.
- Concise: IT Notices concisely communicate the applications or services affected by the outage or interruption, provide brief status updates, and confirm restoration of normal service.
Creating and publishing IT Notices
System owners or administrators may request an IT Notice for planned interruptions or outages via the Change Management process; if emergency circumstances preclude going through Change Management, they can email or call (via the Notices Hotline) the IT Notices team. DCOPS will also facilitate communication with the IT Notices team.
In addition to notices requested by owners and administrators, the Support Center also posts IT Notices when end-user reports indicate an unplanned interruption or outage is in progress. An IT Notice may be posted whenever the Support Center reasonably determines there is a widespread issue with a system. However, to ensure that IT Notices are accurate and reliable, and to rule out isolated or circumstantial cases, the Support Center generally follows the approach below in order to identify the scope and basic details of the situation when an outage is suspected.
Reproducible problems: If Support Center staff
can reproduce the problem a user is reporting, they test multiple
locations and machines (with varying browsers and operating systems,
and from multiple locations, if relevant). They then report the
information they have observed to the system administrators, and post
an IT Notice.
Irreproducible problems limited to specific locations or
populations: If Support Center staff cannot reproduce a
problem (e.g., a network outage from a specific location, difficulties
accessing a resource with restricted access, or inability to access an
IU service via an off-campus ISP), they track reports of the
issue. Although the Support Center may contact system administrators
at the first report, consultants try to gather at least three reports
from different users before posting an IT Notice. This helps rule out
the possibility that the issue is caused by individual circumstance,
and also helps identify and report the scope of the problem.
- Other irreproducible problems, intermittent issues, or multiple affected populations or locations: If Support Center staff cannot reproduce a problem consistently (e.g., some Support Center staff can replicate the problem while others observe normal functioning) they track the issue. Although the Support Center may contact system administrators at the first report, consultants will gather up to five individual reports before posting an IT Notice, in order to provide a clearer idea of the pattern, scope, and circumstance of the problem.
Once the Support Center determines that customer reports reasonably indicate a problem, the Support Center contacts the system administrators or owners (usually via DCOPS), and then posts an IT Notice.
Updating and closing IT Notices
Once an IT Notice is posted, the Support Center publishes status updates as they are reported. If no status updates are reported, the Support Center periodically asks system owners or administrators (usually via DCOPS) to provide one. During a prolonged outage, the Support Center may publish an estimated resolution time (if one is available) and will not ask for updates again until shortly before the stated estimate. However, the Support Center does not close an IT Notice until the system administrator or owner contacts the IT Notices team (via the Hotline, email, or DCOPS) to confirm that the issue has been resolved.