Network Service Outages & Planned Maintenance

The Merit Support Center (MSC) utilizes sophisticated tools to continuously monitor the health of the entire network. Tools automatically poll each network device at 60 second intervals. Any unresponsive device creates a network alert, which is immediately investigated. If a service issue is determined, a trouble ticket is opened within 15 minutes and troubleshooting is initiated.

Once the scope and nature of the issue is determined, MSC staff take immediate action. If the issue impacts a single site, the designated contact for that site is notified. If the issue impacts more than one site, a Merit Network Downtime, Outages and other Events message is sent to the entire Merit community. The MSC staff take immediate steps toward resolution, whether that be contacting a carrier for repair coordination or dispatching a technician for on-site service equipment repair.

Service issues with broad impact are immediately escalated to Merit Operations for review and action by the engineering staff. In addition, the designated contact from any Merit Member organization can request escalation of a network service ticket at any time.

Maintenance Windows

From time to time, Merit must conduct routine maintenance on the network. While this rarely causes any widespread service issues, the windows for planned maintenance are scheduled at specific times.

The change window for core devices is Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Core devices are the primary devices on Merit’s backbone and do not have any direct Member attachments.

The change window for metro devices is Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Metro devices—commonly referred to as meet point, Point of Presence (PoP), or Network Access Point (NAP)—are the devices that are responsible for transit traffic to other Members and other Metro & Core devices, and have at least two or more Members directly attached.

The change window for edge devices is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Edge devices are the Merit-managed routers and switches that Merit Members have on their campus (Customer Premise Equipment). These typically are the demarcation points between a Member’s Local Area Network and the Metro device.

These windows apply to any changes that are required to maintain, expand, or modify existing network infrastructure. Notification of all scheduled maintenance for a Merit service is provided at least 48 hours in advance.

Emergency and break/fix changes that are needed to restore service and/or functionality are implemented as needed and do not need to adhere to the change windows above.