Google Apps for UCI

Google Apps

Google Apps

UCI is among many Universities now partnered with Google to provide email and collaborative online tools to students.

Among the tools is a Gmail account linked to the student’s UCInetID, thus providing the familiar Gmail interface for a student’s official university communication, with the ability to link that account to other Gmail identities, or to form groups with other UCI students.  While UCI students continue to have access to the same email system used by faculty and staff, UCI Gmail may be more familiar or better suit their needs.

Google Apps for UCI includes other useful tools for students which foster a sense of belonging to the UCI community and promoting collaborative work, including Google Docs (productivity tools analogous to Office), Google Sites (for creating Web sites), Google Talk (instant messaging), and Google Calendar (for keeping track of schedules, appointments, and campus events.)

More information may be found at the Google Apps for UCI web site.

Departmental Servers Go Virtual

Virtual Servers

With OIT’s new Virtual Server Hosting service, units which need a server for a departmental web site or application hosting can provide those services to their faculty, staff, and students with all the advantages of a professionally managed Data Center but at a much lower cost.

A virtual server or virtual machine (VM) is the software emulation of a physical server’s hardware and services, and can be configured to meet the needs of a particular group of users.  A single high-end physical server or cluster can simulate a large number of servers, and make more efficient use of physical resources such as disk, memory, and network bandwidth than stand-alone servers can.

With OIT’s VM service, customers may install, configure, and manage the operating system and applications of their choosing, to meet local needs. Administrators can quickly configure and deploy VMs without concern for the purchase, maintenance or replacement of the underlying hardware. As the service is hosted on OIT’s enterprise infrastructure in the Academic Data Center, customers enjoy the benefits of redundant, highly available systems which are often beyond the means of smaller departments.

This service helps increase server reliability, as well as achieve campus goals of efficiency in power and cooling. Old, unreliable equipment can be retired, while the server’s software and function is retained.

The VM service is hosted on an HP blade server chassis.  Each blade has four gigabit Ethernet network controllers, and the maximum possible memory. Storage is provided by OIT’s enterprise disk storage from NetApp. In addition to the high-availability features in the hardware components, the VMWare virtual environment allows for dynamic movement of servers across physical hosts, as well as automatic restarts for the VMs.

OIT’s VM service uses the same infrastructure as OIT’s other enterprise services: earthquake protection tables, redundant power sources, large-scale UPS, data center chilled-water cooling, on-site emergency cooling, and generator-backup power.

More information on configuration options and pricing can be found on the Virtual Server Hosting web site.

More Space on Webfiles

WebFiles

Webfiles is a campus filesharing service available to faculty, staff, and graduate students.  Using a simple Web interface, users can upload files to be shared and specify a wide variety of access restrictions, specifying individuals or groups, number of allowed accesses, or a time window of accessibility.  NACS offers quarterly classes in the use of Webfiles.

NACS has recently doubled the disk space available to users from 1 gigabyte (Gb) to 2Gb.  More information on the use of Webfiles can be found online.

The Life and Death of a UCInetID

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Many campus network and computer services are reserved for faculty, staff, and students, and your network identity (UCInetID) is the key to accessing them.

People who separate from the University are no longer eligible for some or all such services, and their UCInetIDs are subject to deletion.  It may be helpful to understand the policies for UCInetID deletion.

The UCInetIDs of faculty and staff who separate from the University become eligible for deletion when their records are removed from the campus payroll database.  In general, you will receive notification of pending deletion 60 days after removal from the payroll database, and the actual deletion will take place 30 days later.  Retirees may request to retain their UCInetID and certain services, such as email.  Faculty awarded emeritus status retain full UCInetID privileges.

Students lose email and services 1 year after they leave unless they graduate and apply for lifetime alumni services, although access to Registrar services continue for at least 2 years.

Network News (USEnet) Discontinued

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The campus USEnet News server, news.service.uci.edu, will be discontinued after the end of the academic year on Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

At present, the service has minimal use and is running with older software and hardware.  External sources of USEnet News have been launched in recent years that provide a variety of quality services.  Campus users still reading news from our server should evaluate and switch to one of those sources or your local ISP’s news feed.

In the past, some classes have created local feeds on the campus news service for discussions. We recommend the EEE Class Mail List system for those needs.