[Faccus] Maintenance work required on a number of core information systems

Natasha Jennings njennings at uwaterloo.ca
Fri Jan 9 10:19:23 EST 2015

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To:       Department heads, System/Application Administrators and Users
From:   Bruce Campbell, Director, Technology Integrated Services (TIS)
Date:   January 9, 2015
Re:       Maintenance work is required on a number of core information systems
University information systems are undergoing maintenance for the advancement of our requirements for disaster recovery, security, and supportability. The University has made significant investments in upgraded data centre facilities and core information technology infrastructure, to address limitations identified in a 2011 audit of Waterloo's Disaster Recovery Plan. A strategic recommendation from the 2009 Information Technology Task Force has been followed; to consolidate campus resource "directories" (known as "active directories", named Nexus and ADS) to enhance service and reduce costs. Finally, campus IT departments, including IST, must secure the University's information systems, by ensuring key components stay within the vendors' support windows, and by applying security patches.
To continue progress on these objectives, IST will contact stakeholders in departments whose systems will be affected to coordinate the maintenance work. This work may involve only a short scheduled outage or may require more involved planning and testing, and a longer scheduled outage. There are three primary maintenance activities required:

  *   After Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 ends on July 14, 2015, security patches will not be available. These systems will need to be upgraded to a supported operating system, or have their internet access restricted to reduce our security risk.
  *   Moving servers still in ADS active directory to Nexus, as recommended in 2009. Until all are moved, IST must operate and support two parallel campus directories, requiring additional work and technical infrastructure, and reducing the time IST can commit to new initiatives.
  *   Older, single-instance, physical servers would not be easily recovered after a disaster in a core data centre, and may even be difficult to recover from individual hardware failure. These should move to a virtual environment.
In coming months, IST will contact all affected departments with specific information on the maintenance work required on systems. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we continue this important work.
Bruce Campbell
Director, Technology Integrated Services
Information Systems and Technology
University of Waterloo
(519)888-4567 x48323
bruce.campbell at uwaterloo.ca<mailto:bruce.campbell at uwaterloo.ca>

Recipients of this message: isthd, ist-staff, admin-support, ist-mgmt, sec-wg, Daily Bulletin

Natasha Jennings
Communications Officer
Information Systems & Technology
University of Waterloo
519-888-4567 ext. 47951

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