Core Services Update

Well it’s almost November and the blog has been a bit quiet recently! It’s also been a while since I put something up so I thought I’d give you a brief update on what we’ve been doing recently and what we are planning for next year.

One of the biggest projects this year has been the introduction of GoogleMail for students. All new 1st year students are now live on the google domain. The last of the Google/Groupwise integration work is being completed soon, the most important part of this is to share contacts between Groupwise and GoogleMail. We hope to offer migration to the google domain to all students next year, the aim being that by the end of 2010 all students will be using the Google mail domain.

We’ve also been working to improve the SunRay infrastructure with the addition of new servers, improved access times to staff home directories and staff shared directories and we’ve been working hard to reduce the carbon emissions of our existing data centre. Server virtualisation is now key to our server infrastructure; we have also been following quite an aggressive server retirement plan to reduce our physical estate of servers.

We’ve recently purchased a new storage solution from a company called Compellent, this is going live on Sunday 8th November and will initially store all staff home directories and shared files. I’m sure the team will blog shortly about the new Compellent SAN so I won’t go into too much detail here.

Next year will see our new data centre built and we are hoping to make this as green as we possibly can. We are currently working with facilities management to analyse the power usage and heat generated by our current data centre, this data will then advise the design of the new data centre. Next year will see more virtualisation and less physical servers being purchased. We are also looking at giving some SunRay users more control over their desktops and the ability to install their own applications.

That’s it from me at the moment, I’m off to twist some arms and hopefully the blog will liven up a bit pretty soon with some more posts from the team!

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2 Responses to Core Services Update

  1. Rob Spence says:

    Hi Paul
    I have had some reports from students saying they haven’t received email sent to the new format. It’s also now not possible to check whether a recipient has opened mail, so I’m not entirely convinced yet.

  2. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for this feedback, if you can please encourage these students to go to the helpdesks in the LRC/LINC and log the problems so we can look at what’s going on. I’m only aware of one report of missing mail and that was due to the way the student was using the system. We are not in an ideal situation with email, all the 1st years are on GoogleMail and the rest are still using Groupwise. As tempting as a big bang migration of all the students was I thought it would be better to introduce the change slowly. The GoogleMail system offers students a lot more functionality and a 7.5GB mailbox is something that EH would struggle to provide for all students. I’m hoping to migrate all students to GoogleMail next year.

    Tracking the status of mail to 1st year students is going to be more difficult because they are no longer on the Groupwise system, I’ve got a rough idea how to make it work but I’ll do some testing and email you personally.


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