After many years of fine service, our old webserver is nearing the end of its life. View our time-table.
Migration and Training
Over the course of the next year, departments and individuals will need to work with the university webmaster to migrate their content off the old server (www2.unca.edu) and onto a different platform. ITS will provide support to make this transition smooth.
To begin this transition, I'll provide a series of training workshops for faculty and staff to help them use Google Sites and Drupal.
Why are we doing this?
Rocky2 (aka "www2", "the legacy server") has served as the university's primary webserver for many, many years. As the technology of the Internet changes, so too must we keep our infrastructure up-to-date. The world is moving away from hosting websites on physical servers and accessing them using proprietary software. The World Wide Web now lives in the cloud, and most site editing is done directly in the browser.
Additionally, several of our classes have an element of website creation and design built into the curriculum. It's critical our students learn to use the best, most modern tools for managing their online content.
It's also important for us to audit our content from time to time. There are thousands of webpages on our server that haven't been updated in years. Migrating to a new server will give us a fresh start for anything that hasn't already been moved into Drupal.
Finally, we must face the reality of how many platforms ITS can support. Microsoft stopped supporting Frontpage in 2006, and we are no longer able to purchase new licenses for that software. Dreamweaver is a costly alternative. We are focusing our resources on Drupal and Google Sites in an attempt to simplify our support structure.
Where will we go?
While we have successfully migrated all the academic departments' websites to Drupal, there are many other non-academic sites that haven't been moved yet. The university webmaster will be contacting each of those departments to assist them in moving off the old server.
Faculty and staff
Websites for faculty will, in general, need to move to Google Sites. However, this migration presents an excellent opportunity to reevaluate the content on your site. Does it belong on your personal site, or would it serve students better on your department's website? Would it be possible to host it on your personal profile on the departmental site? Are there course materials that could be moved into Moodle?
Individual student websites will need to move to Google Sites. If students are required to build a website for a class, they will need to do so in Google Sites. The webmaster will be available to come and speak during classes to provide a basic training on how to set up such sites.
All student organization websites will need to be migrated to Google Sites (or another service of their choice) by the students in charge of them.
Websites devoted to a single project, program or other service (such as the SGA elections) will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Special websites requiring database, scripting, FTP or other special services will be migrated to another server to be determined.
If I move my website, what will my new URL be?
Sites migrated to Google Sites will have an address that looks like https://sites.google.com/a/unca.edu/my-site-name/. Once you're ready to make the switch from facstaff to Google Sites, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set up a 301 redirect so your old website address will continue to work.
For faculty, staff, and students wanting to start migrating to Google Sites right away, we strongly recommend you create your site at https://sites.google.com/a/unca.edu/username/
Once all faculty and staff websites have been migrated off facstaff.unca.edu, we'll point that DNS entry over to sites.google.com/a/unca.edu, eliminating the need for the redirects.
What's so great about using Google Sites?
Google Sites offers more features than we can go into here, but here are some of the most useful:
- Fully customizable templates
- Revision history, allowing you to track all the changes you've made to a webpage (and roll back to an earlier version if necessary)
- 100GB of shared storage
- Seamless integration with Google Docs, Analytics, Images, YouTube and other services.
Does this mean I won't have FTP access to my site anymore? What about scripting access?
We will consider this on a case-by-case basis, but in general, we will no longer be offering FTP or scripting access to the primary UNC Asheville webservers. If you have a special need for such access, please email email@example.com.
Can I still edit in HTML?
Yes. Both Drupal and Google Sites provide the ability to edit the source code of your pages. Within the page editor, look for the HTML button in the top-right corner.
Will I have shell, FTP, or SFTP access to the Google Sites server?
No. If you require such access, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to gain access to Rocky3.
I have a lot of video files on my website. What should I do with them?
Videos that need to be shared internally with other UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students should be uploaded to Google Video using your UNC Asheville login. Videos that will be shared outside the university can be handled by contacting email@example.com.
How can I find out more?
If you have additional questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 14th, 2012
Begin contacting staff who have websites on facstaff.unca.edu
April 26th, 2012
- Begin contacting users with facstaff.unca.edu websites and no role in Banner. These users are assumed to no longer be with UNC Asheville, and will have their website automatically archived if they do not respond within 2 weeks. Users without a valid @unca.edu email address will have their sites archived immediately.
- Begin contacting faculty to alert them to training opportunities, and reinforce timeline.
May 7th, 2012
The first of several workshops will be offered to faculty and staff to help them migrate their content from facstaff.unca.edu to Google sites.
May 18th, 2012
Finish archiving websites no longer in use. We will make every effort possible to provide a backup of those files if we are able to contact the original owner. Sites that are archived will be available by request for 6 months past this date.
We will archive websites that fall into these categories:
- Created during a training session in 2005, then abandoned
- Belonging to users who are no longer affiliated with UNC Asheville
- When the owner of the website gives us express written permission to remove it
May 31st, 2012
Disable new website creation. No new facstaff, students, orgs, or www2 websites will be able to be created after this date.
Group workshops and individual sessions will be offered to help faculty and staff migrate their content from facstaff.unca.edu to Google sites.
Identify 301 redirects on www2.unca.edu, and implement on www3.unca.edu (or find another way to manage them). Identify legacy sites, scripts, and services to migrate to www3, bacon, Google Sites, Drupal, Moodle, or other services.
December 31st, 2013
The server will shut down permanently.