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There are times when one of our applications is down for maintenance and we'd like to let our users know about it before they start flooding our help desk with calls. What's the best way to notify our users of an event on the network?

Some users are on our intranet, while others log in from the Web. Is there an application they can install to which we can send notifications messages?

I'm interested to hear what others have come up with to address this requirement.

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  • Network status page, listing downtime schedules.
  • Stick to a schedule, maintenance is not an emergency.
  • A notice on the login screen sometime before the maintenance.
  • Use a reverse proxy in front of your apps, makes it easy to redirect to friendly page.
  • If no reverse proxy remap url "somehow" to a friendly page.
  • Cluster* to eliminate the need for most maintenance downtime.

  • If you do email target the distro to actual users of the down app! Internal spam is spam and will ruin the value of your communications.

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An email before the outage is key. As long as your users get regular updates on services and statuses through email, that's always worked well for our group. The timing is the most important part. Give people plenty of notice.

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We've always used net send.

  • Isn't Net Send gone as of Vista? – Doug Chase Mar 5 '09 at 13:55
  • 1
    You've upgraded to Vista? LOL! – GregD Mar 5 '09 at 13:56
  • Not me, actually, but we can't assume that the asker hasn't. – Doug Chase Mar 5 '09 at 13:57
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What about e-mail?

We also have a "phone fan-out" in place for outages that prevent us using e-mail for whatever reason.

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Use an external email service for back up. Or if you have a annexed office in another state or country, contact them to start the email notification process but, make sure they are trained to do so or have some sort of walk-through reference they can refer to.

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