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This Customer Service Agreement (CSA) provides the below key service information for UMassOnline Hosted Services.

Service Overview

Service Name

UMassOnline Hosted Services

Service Manager (UITS)

Ravi Mekala

Service Manager (UMOL)Kevin O'Brien

Applications Supported:

Blackboard Learn

Campuses Supported


Service Description

The Infrastructure team at the University of Information Technology Services provides the UMass Online department with technical services for identified hosted applications.

Scope of Services

The following grid identifies the scope of services provided by UITS.

ServiceUITS ResponsibilityUMassOnline Responsibility

Application Development



Application Management



Building Block DevelopmentNOYES
Building Block ManagementNOYES

Business Relations (Service Level Management)



Change Services (Communications/Training)



Database Operations



Identity Management



Information Management



Infrastructure Architecture



Operations and Scheduling



Network Management



Project Management



Software Administration



Systems Administration



Service Availability


Service Commitment
Customer SupportBusiness Hours8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with the exception of Legal Holidays.
Off Hours

24x7 On-call support for Blackboard Learn

Contact Crocker Communications during off hours to initiate a Service Call for Helix

Maintenance WindowsBlackboard LearnEvery Wednesday, 4:00AM-7:00AM
Data Center

Data center maintenance is scheduled each month on a Saturday from 4:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. as negotiated.

There are up to 12 standard maintenance windows with the potential for 4 of those windows to be extended as negotiated. 

Standard maintenance windows will be communicated 6 months in advance.

Server PatchesServer patches for Linux servers are negotiated as needed.
EmergencyAs required, notification will be provided or negotiated.
Average Time to Respond for Critical IssuesBusiness Hours15 minutes to an 1 hour
Off Hours15 minutes to an 1 hour
Performance, Availability and UptimeLearning Management System PerformancePerformance monitoring script to run once every 5 minutes and complete 27 page script (actions of end users) in under 80 seconds.
Learning Management System Availability99% Availability
Learning Management System Uptime99% Uptime
BackupsBlackboard Learn

Snaps taken 3 times per week (either M,W,F, or T, Th, S)

Retained for 30 days

Infrastructure Support

Backup and Storage Details

ApplicationBackup Information
Blackboard Learn

All Web/App servers are backed up daily using Avamar backup. Backups are retained for 30 days. The primary backup for Oracle databases (including Learn 9) is the creation of “SNAP” copies of the database. These occur 3x per week (either M,W,F or T, Th, S) and these are stored on the EMC VNX storage array. On a weekly basis these get copied to the Data Domain backup device in South St. The South St. Data Domain is constantly replicated to the Boston Data Domain as a secondary backup. At the beginning of each month a copy is moved off to tape. The RPO is dependent on how far back you need to go. If it is within 30 days then the RPO is point in time recovery. The RPO for a recovery beyond 30 days is from the particular day of the month that it was sent to tape.

Backup Size Limitations: TBD



UITS Disaster Recovery Support




Blackboard Learn

The UMOL Application maintains a set of infrastructure in the DTR Datacenter in a Recovery environment commonly known as ‘REC’.  The systems that support this environment are normally up and running at all times.  Data is replicated from Production to the Recovery Database using  a replication process. In normal operation, replication is operating in ‘real-time apply’ mode.  When a transaction is committed on the production side, it is written to the standby redo logs in the standby database, which then applies it to the standby database.


The Production Application modules housed in the Application servers will be kept synchronized with Recovery by including Recovery as a distributed environment off of the Production migration path.


At a very high level, during a recovery event, the REC database will need taken out of standby mode, made operational and the application components started and verified.


Tier 1

0-24 hours
0 to 5 hours4 Hours

How to Request Services

Request TypeRequest Procedure

Planned technical work

Coordinate with the UITS Service Manager

Emergency technical work

Coordinate with the UITS Service Manager

How to Report and Escalate an Issue

Daily Issues

  • Submit JIRA ticket to Service Manager
    • Business Hours
      •  Blocker: 15 - 30 Minutes
      •  Major: 30 minutes to 2 hours
      •  Minor: 2 - 8 hours
      •  Low: Next business day
    • Off Hours
      •  Blocker: 15 - 30 Minutes
      •  Major: 30 minutes to 2 hours
      •  Minor: 2 - 8 hours
      •  Low: Next business day

Critical Issues Escalation Process

  • Per the on call schedule:
    • Business Hours:  Contact the Service Manager. 
    • Off Hours:  Contact the Service Manager, who will reach out to On Call staff.
  • If UMOL does not hear back within 15 minutes:
    • Escalate in the following order:
      • Service Manager
      • Director of Client Technology Services
      • Associate Chief Technology Officer
  • If UITS does not hear back from UMOL once a critical issue has been raised:

Infrastructure Requests

  • Infrastructure issues can be submitted to UITS staff through the agreed-upon ticketing system (JIRA);
  • Infrastructure additions/modifications should be submitted to UITS once the issue has been reviewed by the UMassOnline team.

Customer Obligations



This Customer Service Agreement has been approved by the below Business representatives.






Kevin O'Brien

Principal Application Specialist

University of Massachusetts Presidents Office







How to Request a Change to this Agreement

Please contact the Service Owner identified on the first page of this document to request a change to the Customer Service Agreement.  Changes to level of service will need to go through a negotiation process.


[1] Off Hours Support:  Off hours support is provided in the case of critical issues.

[2] Response Time:  The time in which the request is acknowledged and a verbal /written response has been received by the requestor.

[3] The Level of Criticality is determined by the time in which a function must be back up before it has a significant business impact. 

[4] Recovery Time Objective (RTO):  Time in which the application functionality will be restored for business use.

[5] Recovery Point Objective (RPO):  Point and Time in which the data was captured and can be restored in application production environment.



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