After Hours Support Policy

Revised: 7/16/2002


Typically, ACOM's Systems Staff provides coverage for the division from 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday -- Tim works an early shift and Garth works a late shift. If we have a choice, servers will either be brought down between 5am and 8am, or on weekends for necessary maintenance.

When we provide after-hours support

The ACOM Systems Staff does not provide support after hours unless there is an emergency. Emergencies are defined as computer related events which occur, which, without attention, might cause further damage or disruption of service. Examples include power events, fire, flood, and security compromises.

When such an emergency exists, and a Sysadmin is not available, the clerical and administrative staff as well as the security desk will have contact information for reaching us. Please contact the Systems Staff only in the case of emergencies or unless a prior arrangement with us has been made.

After-hours support for urgent requests may be provided at the discretion of the Systems Administrator involved, if a prior arrangement has been made. For example, an important conference may need to be set up on a Sunday before everybody arrives on Monday morning. In these situations, support is not guaranteed, but we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis.

Examples where we will provide after-hours support

  • Air conditioner failure in the computer room
  • Flood or fire in the computer room
  • A hacker breaks into net.acd or and is actively using either system against UCARnet.
  • A theft has occurred


When we do not provide after-hours support

After-hours support will not be provided for non-emergency situations. This may mean that if you are dependent on a centralized computing resource such as printing, you should be sure that you schedule your work during times in which a SysAdmin will be present. If you plan to work after-hours, we encourage you to have contingencies in case a resource fails (for example, knowing that you can print from our public machines in room 498b).

After-hours support will not be available for home computer systems and networks. For connectivity problems, call 303-497-1200.

Examples where we may not provide after-hours support

  • Network printing is down
  • The color printer is down or out of toner
  • An individual's workstation crashes
  • An application won't work and you have a deadline
  • The B-tower network fails
  • A visitor has arrived, and a system must be moved into his/her office from another office.


Field Projects

Field projects often require setting up systems and networks in remote locations, providing Internet connectivity, etc. The best way to provide field support is to have computer expertise physically present -- this may be in the form of a host organization, or a group sending computer experts for project-support.

We can provide support by answering questions via email. In general, though, we encourage you to talk to us before a field project begins so that we can address issues with the security perimeter, connectivity to the Internet, and other issues that may arise.

Setting up an ability for us to access your system may help us support systems which are deployed in field projects. The best software for this is VNC Server software. Security perimeter considerations both at the local ISP level and at the UCAR-level, however, may constrain how systems in the field can be accessed from the Mesa Lab or Foothills offices.

For those on field projects, there are special considerations for accessing computer systems at the Mesa and Foothills laboratories. These considerations are addressed in our policy on accessing systems remotely.




ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling