An Intranet server generally serves the company's internal staff by allowing them to share and distribute internal information, read internal email, and perform other similar tasks. When all the staff is located in the same time zone, or when the time difference between sites does not exceed a few hours, there is often no need for the server to be up all the time. This doesn't necessarily mean that no one will need to access the Intranet server from home in the evenings, but it does mean that the server can probably be stopped for a few minutes when it is necessary to perform some maintenance work.
Even if the update of a live server occurs during working hours and goes wrong, the staff will generally tolerate the inconvenience unless the Intranet has become a really mission-critical tool. For servers that are mission critical, the following section will describe the least disruptive and safest upgrade approach.
If possible, any administration or upgrades of the company's Intranet server should be undertaken during non-working hours, or, if this is not possible, during the times of least activity (e.g., lunch time). Upgrades that are carried out while users are using the service should be done with a great deal of care.
In very large organizations, upgrades are often scheduled events and employees are notified ahead of time that the service might not be available. Some organizations deem these periods "at-risk" times, when employees are expected to use the service as little as possible and then only for noncritical work. Again, these major updates are generally scheduled during the weekends and late evening hours.
The next section deals with this issue for services that need to be available all the time.
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