Students Staff

[Scheduled]

July 26, 2018

[Scheduled] Improvements to authentication servers

Filed under: [Scheduled] — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:15 pm

At 7:00am on Tuesday 31 July we will be making changes to some of our authentication servers (ADFS and Shibboleth). This is a continuation of our efforts to improve security and reduce the number of times users are prompted to log in.

Important note: Please be aware that this change will remove the existing ‘beige box’ login page for Shibboleth-based services (list at the bottom of this post). Instead, users will be directed to our ADFS-based login page shown below, with an address starting https://feds.essex.ac.uk/.

ADFS log in page

Users should not experience any disruption during this change. If, after the change, you are experiencing problems logging in to the services below, you should restart your computer in the first instance and then contact the IT Help Desk if problems persist.

ADFS-based services:

  • Email (https://email.essex.ac.uk/ and Microsoft Outlook)
  • FASER (https://faser.essex.ac.uk/)
  • Box (https://essexuniversity.account.box.com/ and Box Sync)

Shibboleth-based services (not an exhaustive list):

  • Moodle (https://moodle.essex.ac.uk/)
  • MoodleX (https://moodlex.essex.ac.uk/)
  • Some library services
  • Talis (https://readlinglists.essex.ac.uk/)
  • Lynda.com (https://lynda.com/)
  • Box of Broadcasts (https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/)
  • TuirningPoint

In the future we hope to add additional services to ADFS, which will ultimately reduce the number of times you are asked to log in. Services include:

  • Listen Again (https://listenagain.essex.ac.uk/) and Panopto (https://panopto.essex.ac.uk/)
  • MyEssex (https://www1.essex.ac.uk/myessex/)
The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 25, 2018

Moodle 3.5 Upgrade

Filed under: Elearning, Moodle, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — John Maydew @ 1:26 pm

What’s happening?

Moodle will be unavailable from 9am Wednesday 18th July while we upgrade to the latest version (3.5+), make improvements to the hosting systems and create the 2017 archive. These upgrades will affect the following systems which will be inaccessible during the upgrade:

We expect that the upgrade will be completed before 5pm Wednesday 18th July when Moodle and MoodleX will be available again. Due to the nature of some of the changes, Moodle services will be considered at risk until Wednesday 25th July. This post will be updated as work progresses.

Need access to Moodle that day?

The 2017/18 Moodle Archive will be made available early, on Friday 13th July, so that students studying for exams will still have access to their learning resources. The archive will be acessible from https://moodlearchive.essex.ac.uk once it has been created.

What can I expect?

Moodle 3.5+ includes improved question tagging, updated global search and improved privacy management tools, alongside the usual bug fixes and security patches. The 3.5+ upgrade will also include changes from Moodle 3.4; for more information you can read the release notes for both versions here:

Additionally we’re making improvements to how Moodle works behind-the-scenes, which should improve Moodle’s performance overall

Updates

  • 2018-07-13
  • 2018-07-18
    • 09:00 Moodle has been taken offline. The 2017 archive is still available at the above address
    • 09:50 Issues affecting the 2017 Moodle archive have now been resolved
    • 13:38 Normal service to Moodle and MoodleX has been resumed
The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

May 21, 2018

[Resolved] Essential M drive server maintenance

Filed under: File storage, PC Labs, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 3:34 pm

Two of our M drive servers (isslx109 and isslx110) will be undergoing essential maintenance work on Tuesday 22nd May between the hours of 6am and 7am. This will mean that the M drives of staff and students stored on these servers will be unavailable during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will endeavour to keep downtime to a minimum whilst this essential work is carried out.


The scheduled work was completed by 0645 and all services are now available again.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

May 14, 2018

[Resolved] Essential M drive server maintenance

Filed under: File storage, PC Labs, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 3:18 pm

One of our M drive servers (isslx108) will be undergoing essential maintenance work on Tuesday 15th May between the hours of 6am and 7am. This will mean that the M drives of staff and students stored on the server will be unavailable during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will endeavour to keep downtime to a minimum whilst this essential work is carried out.


The scheduled work was completed by 0640 and all services are now available again.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

April 16, 2018

[RESOLVED]Emergency server maintenance

Filed under: Corporate systems, File storage, SharePoint, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 3:09 pm

The issue with sernt72 has now been resolved and the server is back online.


 

One of our core servers will be undergoing emergency maintenance from 6am tomorrow, Tuesday 17th April.

This could have an impact on lots of our services and applications, including the systems, listed below, which may be inaccessible whilst we carry out these works.

Please do not contact the IT Services helpdesk during this time, as we will be focusing on the emergency server maintenance.

If services are not fully operational by 9am, we will let you know with a further update on the IT Services  Blog.

Please note that email and internet access should be unaffected.

Affected systems:

  • Accommodation and events management (Kinetics)
  • Attendance and engagement monitoring
  • Car parking
  • Essex website (includes intranet and Enrol)
  • Graduation ticket booking
  • Lecture capture (Listen Again)
  • Mobile apps (Pocket Essex) Campus M
  • Online assessments (Questionmark Perception)
  • Online coursework submission (FASER)
  • Online payments
  • Online Resource Bank (formerly Course Materials Repository)
  • Post Room software
  • Graduate training in Proficio
  • Results Processing System (linked to ESIS) – Student facing
  • Sharepoint (including ESF and EAF)
  • SMS messaging
  • Student document ordering
  • Staff and Student Printing (Papercut)
  • Student records and information database (ESIS)
  • Timetabling – Teaching (CMIS)
  • Timetabling – Exams (CMIS)
  • Virtual learning environment (Moodle)
  • Account and Group Management (User Database/CID)
  • Library Management System (Essex Libraries)
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Identity management
  • External staff interface
  • Cross System Interfaces
  • Uniface
  • Cohort (Occ Health)
  • We are smile (mentoring)
  • Building access control (something we need to come back to)
  • Customer and relationship management (Dynamics)
  • HR management (Midland iTrent inc BO)
  • Library Management System (Sierra)
  • Planet (Estates Management)
  • Research management software (RMAS via Agresso)
  • Sports Centre Management
  • Surveys (Qualtrics and EVASYS)
  • Careerhub

 

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

 

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