NETWORK UPGRADE – 14TH AND 15TH November 2009

Phase 1 of the core network upgrade was successfully implemented on Saturday 14th November 2009. Services previously advertised as being unavailable over the entire weekend were brought back online and made fully accessible to staff and students  by 16.00hrs on Saturday 14th November.

Phase 2 of the core network upgrade will take place after the January 2010 exam diet. Phase 2 will be less extensive and disruption to services will be kept to a minimum.

Once a date for phase 2 is confirmed we will forward this and other relevant information to staff and students.

Network Upgrade

Approval has recently been given by the University Executive Board, to upgrade all wired network communications devices within the campus infrastructure. This project will replace wired network devices that are nearing the end of their operational life. The new equipment will contribute to a network speed of 20 gigabytes per second, or 10 times the current backbone speed.

Therefore this significant investment of £740k increases network speed, reliability and security while future proofing this part of the infrastructure for approximately seven years.

This is a major project that will involve all parts of the campus network.  Downtime (if any) will be kept to the absolute minimum.

Approval of the three projects shows the forward thinking of the university and its desire to embrace the latest technology to enhance the learning and teaching experience of students and staff.  The funds for these major investments have been provided by the Scottish Funding Council, who has given their approval for this expenditure.

Wireless Upgrade

Approval has recently been given by University Executive Board, to upgrade the wireless provision within campus. This substantial investment of £276k, will result in the majority of the campus being covered by wireless technology.

All existing wireless access points will be replaced by devices that are of the latest technology. These will negate any interference from other sources that surround the university (ie: microwaves, wireless phones and other neighbouring wireless networks) allowing a cleaner and more robust connection.

The full campus has been subjected to a wireless coverage survey. The result of which is a design that will improve wireless network coverage in most areas.

Work has commenced, the first building to be targeted is the Charles Oakley building, which should be complete by the start of this semester.  The campus wide work should be complete by October 2009.

Server Resiliency

Approval  has recently been given by the University Executive Board, to make our  business critical systems more resilient.  This involves a substantial investment of £230k. The systems identified as business critical are: Oracle HR, Oracle Finance, ISIS, Staff e-mail and VoIP (Telephone Network).  In addition to this, Student e-mail and our Virtual Learning Environment Blackboard are already resilient, as they are supplied by an external third party provider.

The term “Server Resiliency” in this context, means a system has the capability to ‘failover’ to another group of hardware and software, without losing any functionality or data. The secondary group of hardware and software are sited at a different location from the primary group. Data is replicated between them, so failover is transparent to the users.

Work has begun and should be complete December 2009.

Information Strategy document with Action Plan

Our Information Strategy has passed through University Court, and will be subject to regular update. The plan includes broad directions related to service quality, governance, and information services, then it has a detailed action plan (closely linked to the overall University goals) and a set of performance measures. We welcome your feedback and comments and trust you find the plan both informative and useful: