Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The OneIT Web Hosting Project is crossing the finish line in migrating 650 websites to the cloud hosting provider Acquia. With this key milestone, the team will soon be ready to close out the project.

The migration required several months of planning, and intense effort and coordination over a month-long period this summer. It is about 98% complete with just a handful of sites remaining.

The change yields many benefits, like enhanced traffic management and security, and providing all UI Drupal websites with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer—a guarantee of encryption). Acquia handles patching and server maintenance—saving significant staff time—and can instantly add hardware to avoid overwhelming websites during peak traffic times such as emergencies.

UI has already begun shutting down servers that previously hosted its websites on premises. About 80 servers, a combination of server clusters and virtual servers, will be decommissioned by the year’s end.

“Dozens of IT professionals and website owners worked together to accomplish a large number of migrations in a short period of time,” says Romy Bolton, manager of the OneIT Web Hosting Project and a director in ITS Enterprise Services. “We appreciate all of the cooperation and effort that went into this undertaking, and we’re excited about the many ways this change will benefit the campus.”  

Achievements of the Web Hosting Project are detailed in its OneIT Year in Review page: https://oneit.uiowa.edu/website-hosting-year-review-2016. Completion of Acquia migration, coupled with the successful launch of Drupal Digital Signage as a campus service, will complete its scope. The team will be working on closeout documents as the services shift to operational mode.