Information Technology

The OneIT Web Hosting Project Team reports great progress in the migration of hundreds of UI websites to the cloud website hosting provider Acquia.

Information Technology Services has moved 350 sites it hosted on on-premises servers for various campus units (Drupal sites on the Site Now service), and should have the remaining 150 done this week.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences finished migrating its 64 sites, and Nursing and Admissions completed their migrations. The Graduate College is finishing up and the College of Dentistry is next.

The migrations began in mid-July, and about 25 IT professionals are working collaboratively to achieve the goal of migrating about 650 total sites by mid-August. A key piece of the smooth transition has been good communication and a clear process—coordinating timing of the migrations, and testing each site.

Many high-profile websites such as the federal government and Al Jazeera are hosted by Acquia. The change yields many benefits for the UI, like enhanced traffic management and security. With the change, all UI Drupal websites will have SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), a guarantee of encryption.

“Acquia will handle patching and server maintenance for us. Everyone had been doing that individually, which was a lot of staff time,” says Romy Bolton, manager of the OneIT Web Hosting Project and a director in ITS Enterprise Services. “Also, they monitor web traffic constantly, so if there was a spike due to an emergency, they could instantly add hardware to be sure people weren’t blocked from our site.”

By the end of the year, the university will be able to shut down approximately 80 servers, a combination of server clusters and virtual servers, that previously hosted its websites on premises.