[unisog] Server Update Policy, Procedures and Maintenance Schedules:

Cal Frye cjf at calfrye.com
Sun Sep 3 03:17:16 GMT 2006

 Eric Wohlford ventured to comment, at 9/1/06 8:57 PM:
> Do you have a policy on updating Servers you would be willing to share,
> such as how long you test a patch before applying, or which types of
> servers are updated first? When do you run these types of Maintenance
> Schedules on your servers, during normal business hours or after hours? How
> many IST Staff members do you have to support your schedule? How large of
> an institution do you consider your self to be?  And are you public or
> private? Does your staff manually update the servers or are they on a
> Managed system such as "Patchlink," or "Microsoft SUS or MOM"?  And if they
> are on a Managed system which one? Any other suggestions you have would be
> greatly appreciated!
We have about four systems admins (depends on how you count the hours). We're
also quicker to apply Windows (WSUS) and Macintosh (Automatic System Updater)
patches than Netware or Solaris ones, 'cause we just have to be. We're just
getting into SuSE Linux, with Novell's Red Carpet update mechanism, which is
kicked off manually so far. Minor updates we slip in as we can, major ones are
scheduled when they have to be run, and when it's convenient for users; we
lost the regular schedule we had in big-iron days, unfortunately.

I have a bias for updates during work hours and mid-week. If something blows
up, you're going to need technical support, and the quality's been known to
vary with time of day. Avoid end of week or weekend updates for much the same
reason; you're trying to minimize the downtime should there be a /real/
problem. For what it's worth, Oberlin is a private Liberal Arts college with
about 2800 students.

Hope this is useful to you.
-- Cal Frye, Network Administrator, Oberlin College
    www.ouuf.org,  www.calfrye.com,  www.pitalabs.com

"It amuses me to see the profound change in attitude about access to
information which occurs when highly placed insiders suddenly find themselves
on the outside. And vice versa!" - John Reid, 1999

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