We will be performing an infrastructure enhancement over the weekend of Saturday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 which will require a complete shutdown of our campus Data Center. This work is required to support the campus research mission by enabling new research systems and to provide improved resilience for these systems when running on generator power during campus power outages.
As you may know, the Data Center houses many of our mission-critical servers on campus so powering things off will impact access to many systems including CalTime, Cal Central, Student Information Systems (SIS), Cal Answers, Berkeley Financial System (BFS), BearBuy, Production Control Shared Services Center (PCSSC) and Savio Condo/Berkeley Research Cluster, to name a few. We understand this may disrupt your ability to work but have purposefully scheduled the outage during a time period when the use of systems is reduced in an attempt to minimize the overall impact to campus.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is being done?
Maintenance will be performed on the Data Center emergency power switchboard. To ensure staff safety while this work is being done, power must be shut off to all systems hosted in the Data Center. As a result, most systems located in the Data Center will be unavailable during the shutdown period set from 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2 through 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021.
Why is this being done?
This enhancement is necessary to enable new campus research systems and to provide improved resilience for these systems when running on generator power during campus power outages. Savio cluster operation is currently limited when running on emergency generator power due to cooling system limitations. Cooling system improvements will be made during the shutdown which will enable the full operation of Savio when running on emergency generator power. Additional power distribution enables the strategic addition of the Secure Research, Data and Compute (SRDC) cluster in the Data Center. The SRDC will support research in an especially meaningful way in this era of increased research data security threats, providing the security necessary to do research computation using sensitive data, and enabling research grants that won't receive funding without this secure research platform.
The urgency to complete these enhancements has become increasingly important to counter the negative effects from an increased risk of local power outages in recent years. There were many things to consider on selecting a time frame for completing this enhancement including year-end activities, associated system functioning with UCPath, and trying to limit the overall impact to the campus community. The Jan. 2-3 period is a known time when campus systems are utilized less heavily so these dates were chosen purposefully to minimize downtime.
Which systems will be impacted?
The following systems will not be available during the shutdown period. Know that the systems listed below will likely be downfrom 8 a.m. onSaturday, Jan. 2 through 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3 (times are estimated). If the system you are looking for is not in the list below and you are unsure whether it runs in the Data Center, please check the system status page which will be updated regularly.
BPR (CalNet account claiming, passphrase resets)
CalTime (CalTime online will be unavailable but the
Cal Viz (Tableau)
Which systems will be available?
The following systems will remain available during the shutdown period from Jan. 2-3, 2021. If the system you are looking for is not in the list below and you are unsure whether it runs in the Data Center, please check the system status page which will be updated regularly.
bConnected (bMail, bCal, bDrive, Hangouts Meet, gChat)
bCourses / Canvas (however some tools/functionality will be affected)
berkeley.edu (however some linked sites will be affected)
CalNet Authentication (CAS, Shibboleth)
VPN (restricted VPN only by request)
Websites hosted on Open Berkeley (Pantheon or other off-campus providers)
I have work to do during curtailment, will my system be available?
We understand that a shutdown of the Data Center may be disruptive to the campus and to your ability to work. However, this shutdown is necessary to ensure staff safety during the required electrical power work planned for that weekend. To ensure a graceful shutdown of systems, services that run in the Data Center will be taken offline up to 12 hours in advance of the required electrical/power work. The power work will then take up to 8 hours to complete, and we will need up to 12 hours to re-establish all services and systems after the power work completes. As we bring systems back up, it is not possible to pinpoint exact timing for each. Therefore, it is best to plan ahead and know that systems will be down from 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2 through 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3 (times are estimated) unless listed in the “Which systems will be available?” section. To provide further clarification on the availability of systems, service providers will be sending communications regarding the availability of the systems they support as the date for this work approaches.
Why does the data center not use backup generators for this work?
The Data Center main power switchboard connects both the main campus power and the emergency backup generators to the Data Center. To ensure worker safety, there can be no power applied to this switchboard during this work, regardless of source.
I have a virtual machine (VM) I manage myself, do I have to shut it down myself before the power goes off?
Yes, people who manage their own VM’s need to shut them down to avoid a forced shutdown in advance of the underlying infrastructure being powered down.
Who can I contact for more information?
We are collaborating on this project with several IT Service Providers across campus. The functional leads dedicated to this project are:
- Project Manager: David Rieger firstname.lastname@example.org
- Technical Lead: Steve Aguirre email@example.com