CONNECT File Server Migrations

The last of the data held on the CONNECT File Servers was migrated overnight to the new infrastructure on 13th October. This marks the completion of the successful migration of all CONNECT and Library-Public services across to the new VIPR virtual infrastructure. At the same time services have been upgraded to the latest possible operating systems to maintain and increase functionality, performance and resilience.

For updates on the migrations click here

For the current migration schedule click here

Over the next month we’re migrating all data stored on the ADMN file server cluster as well as all CONNECT Home drives and Profiles to new underlying infrastructure. This includes the majority (but not all) of UAS: if you have a G:\ drive mapped (which if you do should be your departmental drive) then this definitely affects you. The other file servers, including Estates, Development Office and the Bodleian Libraries, will be moved later on and separate messages will be sent out about them.

An email will be going out to all staff later this week advising them of this work and will include the schedule included below. Reminder emails will be sent each week (1 per week) during August in which we’ll also be able to update with any issues or changes.

For queries about the migration schedule please reply to any of the email communications that are being sent out about the migrations. For technical problems or support please contact the Service Desk.

What are we doing?

This is part of a larger process involving all CONNECT and Library-Public services being migrated the new IT Services VIPR Virtual Infrastructure. The current infrastructure underpinning these services is becoming end of life, having entered service in 2008. At the same time we are taking the opportunity to upgrade the servers that host the storage to the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows 2012 R2 operating system.

New file server clusters have been built to hold the data rather than simply moving the existing servers. In the background data is being duplicated onto these new servers. The downtime listed is when we’ll do the final synchronisation and checks overnight for each of the drives before then switching drive mappings across to the new server share.

A lot of servers have already been moved across, these include a lot of none-user facing services but also includes the CONNECT Remote Desktop Service, which could be moved over a number of days during office hours due to the redundancy built into it.

Can I be sure that all of my data will be migrated?

We undertake logging and use a very tried and tested process for the movement of data using methods that we have successfully used in the past for similar data migrations. This makes sure there is a complete copy of the data and all of the relevant security permissions (such as folder restrictions). Should we find any problems during the changeover of a drive we can simply continue to point the network paths back at the old servers to allow you to continue working.

If you do spot something that you don’t think is right contact the Service Desk in the normal way and it can be checked. We have extensive backups available and will also be retaining the original servers and data for a period of time after the migrations should anything need to be checked.

When are we doing the migrations?

The schedule at the top of the page lists the drives that are being moved and the dates they are being migrated. For departmental drives on the dates listed each drive will be unavailable between 8pm and 5am the following morning (for the Public, Apps Folder and Home drives it’s a bit different, see below). We need the downtime for each drive to ensure a final copy and synchronisation can happen on all the files, before checks are made and the ‘live’ copy is switched to the new servers.

Home drives and profiles

As well as moving the ADMN file cluster we’re also moving all CONNECT Home Drives and roaming profiles, not just for UAS. This is a slightly more involved process and affects all CONNECT users (In total we have over 3400 accounts in CONNECT). Similar to the ADMN file server migrations new profile servers are being built and the data migrated in the same way. However the configuration and adjustments needed for switching user accounts over to using this data is a bit more complex. As a result the work to move the Home drives is being done on Sunday 28th August.

Roaming profiles are less of a problem to migrate, so these are being done in the background between 1st and 3rd August. This won’t have any visible impact and accounts can still be used as normal during the migrations.

Public and Apps

Similar to the Home Drives these affect a much larger number of people than individual departmental drives. As a result, the Public (P:\) and Apps folder (O:\Apps) will be migrated across at the same time as the Home Drives, Sunday 28th August.

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