After Hours Support
The Information Technology Division does not have the staffing or resources to provide support for routine problems outside of normal working hours (weekdays between 08:30–13:00 & 14:00–16:30). Whilst you are welcome to e-mail our Help Desk (email@example.com) at any time of the day or night, you'll normally only get a response during our office hours.
At certain times of the year, and by prior arrangement well in advance, the Information Technology Division can and does have a full compliment of support and technical staff on stand-by outside of normal office hours. This typically only happens during major University-wide events such as academic and administrative registration. Such arrangements typically incur costs.
At all other times apart for the end-of-year shutdown period, limited standby arrangements exist for building-wide problems on the campus local area network. Standby is only provided outside of normal working hours between 07:00-22:00. We do not guarentee of response time, although we will try and respond to a problem the same day it occurs.
As a general rule our network standby staff will only respond to problems reported by our network monitoring system; however, they may also respond to certain classes of problems reported by the Campus Protection Unit. See the IT Division Network Standby Arrangements documentation for more details.
In the case of localised network outages (such as faults as a result of power outages), physical access to the various buildings on campus after hours is usually a problem. Experience shows that frequently the necessary keys and/or staff are not available and significant amounts of time are wasted futilely trying to gain access. For this reason, our standby staff have been instructed to only respond to a given problem once; if they cannot gain access, they will not retry until the next working day.
Major Outages of Central ICT Services
Informal arrangements exist to help alleviate the problems caused by major outages of critical ICT systems (including Internet access) that occur outside of normal office hours. Our network monitoring system keeps track of such problems on a 24×7×365 basis and will automatically alert appropriate systems administrators.
These administrators may choose to work on resolving such problems after hours at their own convenience and discretion. As there is neither funding allocated to this, nor formal contractual arrangements governing this, after hours response to such problems is provided on a best-effort basis and relies on the availability and generosity of our staff. No guarantees whatsoever can or will be made. However, historically our response to such problems has been reasonably good.
Reporting Major Outages
There is no way other than our automated monitoring system to report such outages. E-mail sent to our Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) might get read.
In instances where there's a risk of imminent physical damage to ICT infrastructure (such as a fire, flood, theft, etc), you should inform the Campus Protection Unit who will respond in terms of the University's emergency management plan. In an emergency CPU can be reached on 046 603 8999 or at their offices in Rhodes avenue.
All our network distribution centres have signage that uniquely identifies their location and provides emergency contact details. Should you be reporting a problem with one of these locations, please make a note of the information on the sign.