Extended BEAR outage in April

Published: Posted on

Update 29/03/2023

Our contractors and Estates have confirmed the dates for the BEAR services shutdown, this will be from 9am on Friday 21st April until Tuesday 25th April at 5pm. 

We are expecting to restore access to the Research Data Store and Virtual Machines (which run bear-hosted websites) on Monday 24th April but compute services, such as BlueBEAR and Baskerville, are not expected to be back in service until Tuesday 25th April.


We would like to give you advance notice that there will be an outage of all BEAR services for an upgrade to the cooling system in the data centre, doubling our current capacity.

A mid-life upgrade has always been planned, though this is somewhat earlier than anticipated. We have seen considerable growth in infrastructure over the last few years and are expecting even steeper growth in the years to come. This would simply not be possible without the added cooling capacity.

The project will see a further £600k invested in this research focussed facility, with the building work starting on March 14th and running into early May. Towards the end of April, we will need a full shutdown of the data centre, during which time we will be unable to run any BEAR services. We are working with Estates and the external contractors to finalise details.

If you have a key event (e.g. a workshop using BlueBEAR) that may be affected by the shutdown, please let us know ASAP (email: bearinfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk), as we may be able to get Estates to factor this into the plans.

You can find out more about our innovative data centre from our blog posts here: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/bear/category/data-centre/

Inside the machine room at Park Grange data centre soon after it was built in 2018.
Three years later in 2021 shows the expansion in kit and the resulting need to double the cooling capacity of the data centre.