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Major changes to Instructional Web Environment for Fall 2016

May 11, 2016 12:23 PM
In Fall 2016, DoIT will be making significant changes to the userpages web environment. We will be creating a new Student Web Environment and there will be an upgraded server using newer versions of critical applications such as PHP, apache, python and other software tools faculty have requested. Staff, faculty and alumni pages from userpages will be moved to a virtual box where they can be continued to be accessed with the existing URLs they use today. 

This transition is part of DoIT’s ongoing commitment to security and stability. The current web environment has aging hardware that is prone to failure. By upgrading now, DoIT will be able to provide much more powerful and easier to use interface for instructional needs. This new box will be updated regularly allowing to be more versatile with better software and security offerings. 

Users who have web directories on userpages for non-instructional use will be transitioned to a new server that will be able to host their existing content.  On the new Student Web Environment, individual users will still need to activate their site, but this will now feature a more automated process. In addition, before each new academic year the directory that will be web accessible will change so that older content is no longer accessible to help with security. For example in 2016 the publically reachable directory will be swe2016 instead of the existing “pub/www” space that is currently used.  

As a result, DoIT will be transitioning off userpages.umbc.edu for all instructional web development after this semester. DoIT will work with faculty, staff and students in assisting with migration of non instructional user pages. 

If faculty are actively using userpages and would like to be part of the shaping of the new environment please contact Damian Doyle, Director of Enterprise Infrastructure at damian@umbc.edu
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