July 2021: Regular Canvas Maintenance Windows

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
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This post will be updated with additional information as it is made available. Please see the notes at the bottom of this post regarding revisions.

In an effort to better manage required maintenance across all customer instances, we will be implementing regular Canvas maintenance windows for each region, beginning 15 July 2021. These two-hour windows will be scheduled for the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month. Most maintenance windows will take place sometime between the hours of 12:05am and 4:05am local time.

Admins can expect any maintenance to happen during the scheduled maintenance windows, unless there is emergency maintenance that needs to be completed at any given point. These planned maintenance windows should help to lessen the need for emergency maintenance.

Even though the windows are two hours each, we don’t expect users would experience downtime for more than a few minutes. It is also likely that we won’t always have maintenance that needs to be done during our scheduled maintenance windows. Admins will be alerted to planned maintenance the week before it takes place. We will not send any alerts if no maintenance is expected.

Status Updates

Status updates are provided for each Canvas institution. Anyone can subscribe to updates via the status page and searching for the name of their Canvas account.

SIS Systems & API Integrations

For institutions concerned about SIS integrations and other tools that may have processes running during prospective maintenance windows, ensure the integration checks for maintenance before processing. Any database system that cannot be interrupted needs to be revisited regarding its structure, as databases are capable of failing at any time.

When the maintenance page is active, any API calls made by an integration will receive a 503 status code response, Service Unavailable. Any jobs running before the maintenance time period should pick back up after the maintenance ends. A proper integration should check for that status code and be able to pause for a few minutes before retrying. 

For institutions who are working with a vendor regarding an integration process should confirm with the vendor that their system can support any downtime that the system may encounter.

An additional option for institutions is to consider changing the time of the scheduled tasks so it does not operate during the scheduled maintenance window.

[21 May update] The times of the maintenance window have been shifted by five minutes, 12:05 am–4:05 am. Additionally, recommendations about SIS systems and other API integrations with active jobs have been added.

[19 April update] As of the May 15 Canvas release (available in the beta environment today), the specific two-hour maintenance window for an institution will be displayed in Account Settings for admins and in User Settings for all other users. However, since maintenance windows do not begin until 15 July 2021, the dates and times shows are not yet applicable. Please note that the two-hour maintenance window may be adjusted before the maintenance window goes into effect.

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