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Update: COVID-19 impact on CEDA and JASMIN operations

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we announced that all of our services should be considered at risk. Thankfully, our services have run largely as normal throughout the pandemic, but 10 months on, unfortunately, this ‘at risk’ status still stands. See below for details about how we anticipate it will continue to affect us and you.


Services at risk due to small team

The JASMIN/CEDA team is a small team with many services supported by a limited number of individuals with key expertise. The team has been successfully working remotely since March and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, it has not been an easy situation for everyone. 

With all schools now closed again, some staff will need to work reduced hours. This applies to staff within CEDA and STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD), but also those in other areas of STFC which provide core services such as network and power.


Delays to user support and resolving issues

2020 was our busiest year for user support to date - we helped over 1750 users via the helpdesk. The helpdesk team have worked hard to keep users informed and we managed to send an initial response to over 93% of queries within one working day.    

Whilst we have managed to keep our response times prompt, some issues raised have taken longer than normal to resolve. This can be due to a variety of reasons related to the current situation: whether it’s making issues harder to diagnose, or whether known issues, planned to be addressed by strategic improvements, can’t yet be fixed. Changes to the situation over the past few months, in particular the restrictions around work in our machine room, have made planning and implementing these improvements much more difficult, not to mention disruption to supply chains and logistics.

Given the tighter restrictions announced by the UK Government yesterday, we anticipate these impacts to continue for some time.

Summary: 

Overall, our services have run largely as normal throughout the pandemic. However, when issues have occurred, it has taken the team longer than normal to resolve them. We anticipate that this will continue until Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Therefore, our services should still be considered ‘at risk’ for the foreseeable future. 

We would ask you to continue to be patient and courteous to our support staff when reporting issues and waiting for them to be resolved. As ever, we will continue to do our best!

Watch this space for further information about online events such as user seminars, training and webinars which we’ll be running throughout the year: we look forward to “seeing” you!

With best wishes for a happier and healthier 2021,
CEDA/JASMIN team

 

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