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Availability and planned maintenance

General availability

Every reasonable effort will be made to keep our services available and operational 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.

Please note however that although the support personnel will do their best to keep the facility running at all times, we cannot guarantee to promptly resolve problems outside UK office hours, and during weekends and public holidays. Nevertheless, please notify support'at'hpc.cam.ac.uk of issues whenever they arise.

Planned maintenance

Occasionally it is necessary as part of maintaining a reliable service to update system software and replace faulty hardware. Sometimes it will be possible to perform these tasks transparently by means of queue reconfiguration in a way that will not disrupt running jobs or interactive use, or significantly inconvenience users. Some tasks however, particularly those affecting storage or login nodes, may require temporary interruption of service.

Where possible, maintenance activities involving a level of disruption to service will be scheduled on:

Tuesdays, 10:00-18:00 (local UK time).

Please note that this does not mean that there will be disruption at this time every week, merely that if potentially disruptive maintenance is necessary we will do our best to ensure it takes place during this period, in which case there will be advance notification.

Establishing a predictable time slot for planned maintenance has the advantage that users may be confident that `dangerous' changes will not intentionally be undertaken at other times. Unfortunately the potential for unplanned periods of disruption is a fact of life - please see the next section.

Exceptional maintenance and unplanned disruptions

It may happen that despite best efforts, it becomes necessary to reduce or withdraw service at short notice and/or outside the planned maintenance time slot. This may happen e.g. for environmental reasons, such as air conditioning or power failure, or in an emergency where immediate shutdown is required to save equipment or data.

It is hoped that these situations will arise rarely, although it should be noted that power cuts in this part of Cambridge are unfortunately not as rare as one would like. Obviously in such cases service will be restored as rapidly as possible.