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Technical FAQs: PG&E Outage

RE: PG&E outage announcement to campus…

How will the power outage impact campus IT services and systems?

  • Campus network access and Wi-Fi will be down in campus locations where power is down.
  • All IT systems and services hosted in the campus data center, as well as all systems and services hosted external to the campus data center, are expected to be available during the PG&E planned power outage. The data center will be up as long as there is generator power so we expect core network services to continue to function (border/internet connectivity, DNS, etc.). Systems and services we expect will be available include: Caltime, bCourses, Cal Central, SIS, Cal Answers, bConnected (bMail, bCal, Drive), Box, BFS, Bearbuy, Zoom, Hangouts, Docusign, ServiceNow, Pantheon/Open Berkeley, berkeley.edu, news.berkeley.edu, and all other websites. For the most up-to-date information please visit System Status.
  • Without building power the Kronos clocks will not work.
  • bSecure GlobalPotect VPN service will remain up, but the old Cisco AnyConnect VPN will be down.
  • Desktop phone lines (CalPBX) will operate for ~2 hours on UPS batteries in locations without power, and then will stop working.
  • The Savio Condo/Berkeley Research Cluster will be offline after 12 a.m. on Oct. 9 (Tuesday at midnight) until further notice. During the outage, users will not be able to run compute jobs. Login nodes and storage will be available.
  • Production Control Shared Services Center (PCSSC) Control-M and GoAnywhere for Batch and Managed File Transfers will be up and available.

What are you doing to make sure applications and systems will be available to campus during the power outage?

We have generators in several key locations on campus to help keep things powered and functioning. However, resources to keep the generators running may become limited depending on the duration of the outage and may lead to systems becoming unavailable over time. This would occur if the needs of other regional institutions (i.e. hospitals, emergency services, etc.) become prioritized for generator refueling ahead of our needs.

What will happen to cell phone coverage?

Losing cell phone coverage is highly likely if the entire campus power is down. Cell phone power is dependent on campus power, and is managed by your cellular provider. Most providers have battery backup in place that will last several hours, and some have generators to extend their availability. With a 48-hour power outage, we expect cellular service to degrade over time. There are several towers on campus, not all will lose power. For those that lose power, there will 4 to 8 hours of battery power. Cell service will degrade over that time and may become nonexistent. If you are experiencing issues using your cell phone, try texting as it is more likely to go through.

Will dialing 911 continue to operate? 

Yes, 911 calls made from a campus landline phone that is powered and working should function as normal. You may also dial 510-642-3333 to reach UCPD from a cell phone, or use one of the Blue Light emergency phones located across campus to obtain help.

What information is available for students who live on campus?

Student Affairs is maintaining this list of updates regarding residence halls, dining, and more for reference.