A large portion of the Library infrastructure has been migrated into Data Center Shared Service space. Once we have everything in place, we will be able to retire old and malfunctioning hardware and reclaim space for academic and research use that was previously housing computer equipment. The work we do in in the next 6 weeks will also position the Library for upcoming consolidation efforts in storage and virtualization, allowing IT resources to focus more on needs specific to the Library instead of supporting commodity services.
The most difficult aspect of this move kicked off last week, as we began testing applications in the new data center. Although we hope to minimize disruption to services, there will be some unavoidable side effects from the move. The migration requires changing IP addresses for all services, and because we can’t fully test and migrate all services at once, this also means the URLs will be different. We will put redirects in place so that applications accessing the old URL will forward to the new location, but it will not be possible to make the redirection perfect in every case; some of the navigation within applications may be awkward or have bugs. After all services have moved, we will use what is technically known as “DNS magic” so the old URLs point to the new servers.
Long story short, some links and bookmarks will break, but it will be temporary. We do recommend using the new URLs going forward, because there are no guarantees for how long we can maintain the old URLs.
In the next few weeks, we will be migrating 18 production services from Grainger, most of which live on quest.grainger.uiuc.edu. Very soon, we will begin migrating 34 applications from www-s2.library.illinois.edu and 12 applications from www-s1.library.illinois.edu. The Library IT Survey revealed that most applications are only used by a subset of Library faculty, staff, and patrons, so information on specific applications will be targeted only to the identified service owners.
After this phase is complete, there are more than 200 additional applications that should be easier to move once the first phase is complete. There is also a database upgrade project that dovetails with application migration, which merits its own post in the near future.