Planned outages are a necessary evil.
As a Moodle Partner, we manage hosting and support for our enterprise Moodle clients.
Some of these clients receive millions of page views every day, so we need to minimise disruption when we make upgrades or install security patches.
We schedule any brief, necessary outages in accordance with each Service Level Agreement (SLA), and our global Follow the Sun team members usually complete them in the wee small hours. However, any large Moodle LMS instance is facilitating learning 24x7, and it's critical we keep the application available at all times. This is why we've developed the Moodle Outage Manager plugin.
Originally for our own use, the plugin is now available to the Moodle community under an open source license. The plugin gives Moodle administrators new tools to broadcast information about upcoming outages to users in advance. Users see a notification bar at the top of their browser including a countdown timer, reminding them of any upcoming events.
This means that teachers and learners will never be caught by surprise by scheduled service disruptions.
The plugin supports configurable notification messages and colour schemes, all included in the notification bar. During the outage itself, a dedicated message can be shown letting the learners know when the LMS will be back and available for all.
Please watch the YouTube clip below for a demonstration of the Moodle plugin in use.
The Moodle plugin can be downloaded here - https://moodle.org/plugins/auth_outage
With thanks to Catalyst Moodle developers Daniel Thee Roperto and Brendan Heywood.