Network interruptions due to Firewall replacement, 6 September between 7am-9am

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[20 August 2017]

Why are we replacing the firewall and when?

Essential work is needed to replace the University firewall, a key part of the University IT infrastructure.  The firewall acts as a barrier to keep destructive elements out of our network.

It has been five years since we implemented a significant upgrade to the service and a replacement service is needed to bring enhanced security and bring improvements to internal and external connectivity, required by the demands of our cutting-edge research and collaboration.  The work involves replacing the physical equipment and the re-enabling connections.

  • The work to replace the University firewall will take place on Wednesday 6th September between 7am-9am.

While the implementation of the new hardware will be quick, we want to ensure everything is connected correctly. As such we are being cautious and allocated a two-hour period where there could be brief interruptions to network connectivity.

How will this affect you?

During this time members of the University on campus will see breaks in their wired and wireless access, affecting their ability to use University online services and services hosted externally, eg. websites.

Those located away from the University may see disruption trying to access University hosted online services.

The VPN and Remote Desktop services will also be affected, and interruptions will need staff to make a new connection.

What should you do?

Please be patient while this work is underway.  We understand that the loss of access to services is frustrating, but the breaks should be short. To avoid any issues you could save any work to your hard drive during this period and then save to a filestore when the maintenance work is complete.

This is a complex and critical piece of work that underpins multiple business functions.  While every effort is made to test the implementation, it is impossible to reflect the real world activity on a network as active as ours.  As such, there is always a potential for problems to occur.  IT staff will be on standby and monitoring multiple systems as the work proceeds.  We do have “back-out” plans in place that should return service by 9am in the case of significant problems.

We thank you in advance for your patience during this work.  If you have any concerns or issues around the work please contact the IT Service Desk.

Updates to this work will be published on the IT service status page: http://itstatus.bristol.ac.uk/