Outage Infrastructure SOP

What to do when there’s an outage or when you’re planning to take an outage.

Contact Information


Fedora Infrastructure Team


#fedora-admin, sysadmin-main group






This SOP is generic for any outage

Users (No Access)

Don’t have shell access? Doesn’t matter. Stop by and stay in #fedora-admin if you have any expertise in what is going on, please assist. Random users have helped the team out countless numbers of times. Any time the team doesn’t have to go to the docs to look up an answer is a time they can be spending fixing what’s busted.

Planned Outage

If a planned outage comes at a terrible time, just let someone know. The Infrastructure Team does its best to keep outages out of the way but if there’s a mass rebuild going on that we don’t know about and we schedule a koji outage, let someone know.


Pretty much all coordination occurs in #fedora-admin on libera.chat. Stop by there to watch more about what’s going on. Just stay on topic.

Unplanned Outage

Check first

Think something is busted? Please check with others to see if they are also having issues. This could even include checking on another computer. When reporting an outage remember that the admins will typically drop everything they are doing to check what the problem is. They won’t be happy to find out your cert has expired or you’re using the wrong username. Additionally, check the status dashboard (http://status.fedoraproject.org) to verify that there is no previously reported outage that may be causing and/or related to your issue.

Reporting or participating in an outage

If you think you’ve found an outage, get as much information as you can about it at a glance. Copy any errors you get to https://paste.centos.org/. Use the following guidelines:

Don’t be general
Don’t report an outage that’s already been reported
  • BAD: "/join #fedora-admin; Is the build system broken?"

  • Good: "/join #fedora-admin; wait a minute or two; I noticed I can’t submit builds, here’s the error I get:"

Don’t suggest drastic or needless changes during an outage (send it to the list)
  • "Why don’t you just use lighttpd?"

  • "You could try limiting MaxRequestsPerChild in Apache"

Don’t get off topic or be too chatty
  • "Transformers was awesome, but yeah, I think you guys know what to do next"

Do research the technologies we’re using and answer questions that may come up

Please try to contact OnCall first. This could be done by typing .oncall in #fedora-admin channel.

Infrastructure Members (Admin Access)

The Infrastructure Members section is specifically written for members with access to the servers. This could be admin access to a box or even a specific web application. Basically anyone with access to fix the problem.

Planned Outage

Any outage that is intentionally caused by a team member is a planned outage. Even if it has to happen in the next 5 minutes.


All major planned outages should occur with at least 1 week notice. This is not always possible, use best judgment. Please use our standard outage template at: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure/OutageTemplate. Make sure to have another person review your template/announcement to check times and services affected. Make sure to send the announcement to the lists that are affected by the outage: announce, devel-announce, etc.

Always create a ticket in the ticketing system: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure/Tickets Send an email to the fedora-infrastructure-list with more details if warranted.

Remember to follow an existing SOP as much as possible. If anything is missing from the SOP please add it.


Remember to schedule an outage in nagios. This is important not just so notifications don’t get sent but also important for trending and reporting. https://admin.fedoraproject.org/nagios/


Prior to beginning an outage to any monitored service on http://status.fedoraproject.org please push an update to reflect the outage (see status-fedora SOP).

Report all information in #fedora-admin. Coordination is extremely important, it’s rare for our group to meet in person and matrix is our only real-time communication device. If a web site is out please put up some sort of outage page in its place.

Post outage cleanup

Once the outage is over ensure that all services are up and running. Ensure all nagios services are back to green. Notify everyone in #fedora-admin to scan our services for issues. Once all services are cleared update the status.fp.o dashboard. If the outage included a new feature or major change for a group, please notify that group that the change is ready. Make sure to close the ticket for the outage when it’s over.

Once the services are restored, an update to the status dashboard should be pushed to show the services are restored.

Additionally update any SOP’s that may have changed in the course of the outage.

Unplanned Outage

Unplanned outages happen, stay cool. As a team member never be afraid to do something because you think you’ll get in trouble over it. Be smart, don’t be reckless, and never say "I shouldn’t do this". If an unorthodox method or drastic change will fix the problem, do it, document it, and let the team know. Messes can always be cleaned up after the outage.

Determine Severity

Some outages require immediate fixing, some don’t. A page should never go out because someone can’t sign the cla. Most of our admins are in US time, use your best judgment.

Use the following as loose guidelines, just use your best judgment.

  • BAD: "I can’t see the Recent Changes on the wiki."

  • Good: "The entire wiki is not viewable"

  • BAD: I cannot sign the CLA

  • Good: I can’t change my password in the account system, I have admin access and my laptop was just stolen

  • BAD: I can’t access awstats for fedoraproject.org

  • Good: The mirrors list is down.

  • BAD: I think someone misspelled some words on the webpage

  • Good: The web page has been hacked and I think someone notified slashdot.

First Steps

After an outage has been verified, acknowledge the outage in nagios: https://admin.fedoraproject.org/nagios/, update the related system on the status dashboard (see the status-fedora SOP) and verify changes at http://status.fedoraproject.org, then head in to #fedora-admin to figure out who is around and coordinate the next course of action. Consult any relevent SOP’s for corrective actions.

Fix it

Fix it, Fix it, Fix it! Do whatever needs to be done to fix the problem, just don’t be stupid about it.


Can’t fix it? Don’t wait, Escalate! All of the team members have expertise with some areas of our environment and weaknesses in other areas. Never be afraid to tap another team member. Sometimes it’s required, sometimes it’s not. At present our team is small enough that a full escalation path wouldn’t do much good. Consult the contact information on each SOP for more information.

The Resolution

Once the services are restored, an update to the status dashboard should be pushed to show the services are restored.

The Aftermath

With any outage there will be questions. Please try as hard as possible to answer the following questions and send them to the fedora-infrastructure-list.

  1. What happened?

  2. What was affected?

  3. How long was the outage?

  4. What was the root cause?

Number 4 is especially important. If a kernel build keeps failing because of issues with koji caused by a database failure caused by a full filesystem on db1. Don’t say koji died because of a db failure. Any time a root cause is discovered and not being monitored by nagios, add it if possible. Most failures can be prevented or mitigated with proper monitoring.