Jan 26th 2010 3:39PM During maintenance, I assume the following happens:
1. Begin maintenance window
2. Any changes to the Blizzard network impacting customer-facing operations are performed and tested.
3. the databases are archived and backed up, with older backups being decremented and warehoused.
4. The realm, instance, and authentication servers are bounced and run through various diagnostics. SAN expansion, preventative maintenance, and diagnostics occur. Hardware upgrades and replacements happen now.
5. Code level is incremented with any changes. Hotfixes (announced and otherwise) are applied.
6. The customer care group has their weekly team meeting.
7. Servers are brought back up and tested for stability.
8. Servers returned to production.
9. Six bajillion no-lifers, truants, unemployed folks, gold farmers, and yes, a smattering of people with jobs more complex than taking a burger order crush the login server simultaneously, and log in all at once causing Dalaran to collapse on itself like a dying star.