Web Hosting and Development

There are many ways for departments and researchers to create and maintain Web sites at UCI. NACS has one solution which affordably meets a variety of potential needs.

NACS offers a Linux-based service which provides the Apache server, MySQL for simple databases, and programming in Perl, PHP, and Python. Subscribers are given 1 GB of storage space and shell access to the web server via SSH to setup content for their Web site. NACS provides server maintenance, system administration, file system backups, and web server configuration.

NACS also offers the standard Microsoft web suite of IIS and ASP on a Windows Server.

If you want help creating content, NACS can work with you to design and develop your site, or to enhance an existing site. An initial consultation will be needed to define the scope of the work and to provide a estimate of the time required to complete the project.

If you have a server and want a 24-hour supervised, secure, climate controlled environment in which to house it, NACS can host web servers in ourAcademic Data Center.

Additional services will be offered either as a standard hourly rate or a flat monthly charge depending on the nature of the services being requested. Seehttp://www.nacs.uci.edu/support/webhost.html for more information.

These services can be combined or provided independently of each other. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs or any questions you may have.

NACS deploys Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3

NACS is upgrading both its infrastructure and its clients’ Red Hat servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3.

This operating system is available in two flavors, Advanced Server (AS) and Workstation (WS). The key difference between the two versions is that WS is not designed for use in server environments; therefore, it does not support more than 2 processors, nor does it include various server packages.

For an annual subscription fee of $50 (AS) or $25 (WS), users are provided with access to the Red Hat Network, including patches and updates. For a small additional fee, departments can subscribe to this service through NACS and receive these benefits:

  1. Patch and update services provided by our on-campus server, resulting in much faster performance.
  2. License and release tracking, saving you paperwork and bureaucratic headaches.
  3. Automatic patches and updates installed as they become available.

Systems administered by NACS also receive these benefits. Please contact dcs@uci.edu for pricing and additional information.

Any DCSLIB subscriber upgrading to RHEL should install the Legacy Software Development package to maintain binary compatibility with the current Red Hat archive.

More information about RHEL can be found at: http://www.redhat.com/software/rhel/

Redhat also publishes a commodity version of Linux called Fedora. Fedora is available for free, but has much more limited support. A comparison may be found athttp://fedora.redhat.com/about/rhel.html

Support for the current version of Red Hat Linux ended on April 30, 2004.

Unix System Administration

NACS Distributed Computing Support (DCS) provides a full range of UNIX system administration services for UCI research and other computing environments on a contract basis.

DCS staff members provide direct Unix system administration services for some computer systems. They also serve as consultants to departmental system administrators.

DCS staff keep abreast of emerging applications and system technologies as well as the latest security fixes in order to provide high quality system support.

System support also includes remote monitoring and proactive trouble resolution. In fact, problems are often diagnosed and resolved before departments are even aware of any problems!

The various staff members of DCS bring a mix of people skills and technical skills to bear. Some staff read, “triage” and respond to the daily influx of phone and e-mail inquiries from clients and trouble reports generated by computer systems. Other staff ensure that security fixes and system upgrades are distributed and installed as promptly as possible.

The broad range of services and professional level of support provided by DCS usually matches and frequently surpasses those offered in the private sector.

System Administration Services

For over 10 years NACS Distributed Computing Support (DCS) Group has provided professional system administration services to the UCI campus for UNIX (and to a lesser extent Windows).

Computer system administration generally refers to the maintenance of a reliable and secure computing environment. DCS has recruited, trained, and maintained a dedicated support staff alleviating individuals and workgroups of this burden and some of the associated costs.

DCS relies heavily on the use of automation and standard client hardware configurations. DCS is also responsible for maintaining DCSLib, an extensive software library.

DCS currently supports 300 systems in virtually every academic school and department, but the heaviest demand comes from the School of Physical Sciences, the College of Medicine, and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Over the past 5 years the number of DCS contracts has increased approximately 6 % per year.

More information on DCS services can be found at http://www.nacs.uci.edu/support/unix.html. If you would like to discuss support of your system, please contact NACS.

UNIX Support

NACS/DCS provides Unix and Linux system administration services to the campus on a contractual basis. DCS uses a Unix/Linux system administration technique called “autoinstalling” to help keep quality high and costs low relative to the industry norm.

While autoinstalling requires system administrators to spend a little more time planning and executing initial system configuration, many later tasks become much easier, such as operating system updates (including security patches). Autoinstalling also preserves a lot of information about how customers prefer their machines to be configured.

The most recent versions of Unix/Linux currently configured for use with DCS’s autoinstall procedures are Solaris 8, Redhat 6.2, Irix 6.5.6, and Tru64 4.0g.

If you would like to evaluate contract support with DCS for a Unix or Linux machine, please contact dcs@uci.edu or call 824-6854. Additional information is available on line at http://www.nacs.uci.edu/support/dcs/sysadmin.html