After an extensive campus-wide planning process, the student portal “ZotPortal” went live on April 27 of this year. IAT-NACS worked with Student Affairs to design the high-reliability and high-performance system hardware, and provides ongoing network and system administration services, as well as housing elements of ZotPortal in separate data centers.
Through ZotPortal students can access academic and administrative information, connect to a Facebook account, subscribe to UCI campus news, student media and entertainment feeds, check UCI libraries catalogue and even search for people and campus web sites from one search box.
Students can arrange ZotPortal’s look and layout flexibly through a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, subscribing to the particular information channels they want.
ZotPortal runs on hardware intended to provide maximal service continuity. There are duplicate servers, connected through IAT’s DMRnet. In the event one server becomes unavailable (say due to a power failure), the twin automatically assumes all portal activity. Within each physical server are many CPUs, configured to provide a flexible group of virtual servers so that ZotPortal can support very large numbers of simultaneous requests. Data is stored on a disk cluster configured with Sun’s ZFS (zettabyte file system) which provides both redundancy (data protection) and high performance parallel access.