March 5, 2022 Power Outage, Maintenance, and Nuvera Transition Recap

Greetings!

It has been nearly a week since March 5 rolled around and we completed the power outage, maintenance, and Nuvera transition. Here is a quick recap of where we are today:

  • The campus has completely transitioned to Nuvera as our internet service provider along with the new pair of firewalls. This transition will help eliminate some specific issues we have had in the evenings when internet usage was at its highest. Now, a single dorm will not be able to use so much bandwidth that it affects the other dorms. This change will not eliminate all issues, and it may even surface some new ones, but it should help eliminate a class of issues plaguing campus during certain times of day.
  • The other maintenance we had planned during the power outage has been completed as well. Needed updates to our virtual server infrastructure and network switches were completed in a timely fashion and without incident.
  • Issues with the Archive server which came to light after the power outage have been mitigated. We will be rolling out similar fixes for some additional servers (not affected in the same way, but trying to stay ahead of future issues) will be rolled out in the near future.
  • An unintended network outage which cause some corruption on a database server (affecting MLC’s Moodle instance) has been mitigated for the time being. Additional work will need to take place to protect against future issues. Moodle should be working as designed now, but please be on the lookout for issues and report them.

Please keep watch for future maintenance window announcements as we continue to work through additional changes and updates. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you!

March 5, 2022 Power Outage, Maintenance, and Nuvera Transition

As already announced, on Saturday morning, March 5, 2022, power will be shut off in the WCC (classroom building) in order to facilitate changes needed to support the chiller project work. This power outage will take place between 8 and 10 am on March 5. To support this work, Network Services will need to shut down all of our equipment in our server room which will, effectively, render the entire campus network inoperable.

This outage will mean network connectivity, phones, and internet access on campus will not work. Also, no campus-hosted services (e.g. Moodle, Portal, Filr, Vibe, etc.) will be available either on, or off, campus. Everything will be down for the duration of the work and some time after power is restored as we take advantage of this opportunity to take care of some maintenance needs.

Right now the plan is to take care of the following:

  • Update the firmware on our core switches both in Network Services and in the Chapel of the Christ
  • Upgrade the virtualization host servers to the latest release of the host system (if time permits)
  • Clean up the power situation in our server room
  • Cut over from XFINITY/Comcast to Nuvera for the campus internet connection

Yes, you did not misread that final bullet point, right now the plan is to complete our transition from XFINITY/Comcast to Nuvera on the morning of March 5. This means that all campus-hosted services and internet connectivity will be making the switch that day. This will mean that if you are accessing Moodle, Portal, and other hosted services, it may take longer than just the morning for your DNS to resolve to the proper IP address.

If you have any questions about the work or transitions coming up, please reach out to Network Services. Thanks, and God bless your work!

Nuvera Internet Upgrade Update

Greetings MLC campus family!

It has been a number of weeks since I was able to update you on the progress being made for switching from XFINITY/Comcast to Nuvera as our campus’s internet service provider. In that time, while some progress has been made, we have not been able to make the switch over to Nuvera, and with it, an increase in bandwidth available to the entire campus.

Staffing challenges, work at the Betty Kohn Fieldhouse, and other projects have pushed the rollout of this infrastructure upgrade, temporarily, to the back burner. We are continuing to reach out to various vendors who will need to be made aware of the upcoming change so that they are ready for the transition as well. We will then be scheduling a series of evenings to continue configuring our campus firewalls/gateways so that we are prepared for the transition.

After that work is complete, we will announce when the final transition will happen. While we hope to announce that final transition date in mid-February, competing priorities may push that off to Spring Break.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please make sure to reach out to me, Bob Martens, Director of Information Technology. I would be more than happy to discuss any aspect of the project along with any other questions you may have.

The transition to Google Chat is right around the corner!

As announced a couple of weeks ago, MLC is going to be moving from Classic Hangouts to Google Chat on August 3, 2020. That transition is still on track and will take place on Monday. In order to facilitate the change, we have created a help document titled Google Chat Transition over at KnightHelp.

Links to resources and answers to questions will be posted there as time goes on. That document will also gather resources once the transition has happened.

Thanks and please reach out if you have any questions!

Moving from Classic Hangouts to Google Chat

Starting August 3, 2020 we will be moving our Google text chatting experience from the classic Google Hangouts to Google Chat. Google Chat is Google’s latest organization-grade messaging and collaboration platform that is similar to Microsoft Teams, Slack, or other team chat platforms. It integrates with many of Google’s other G Suite services (including Meet and Drive) and will be integrated in many other ways across their platform in the coming months.

Google Chat homepage banner

Google Chat is not the same as Hangouts, even as it serves a similar purpose. For a quick glance at how to accomplish some of the same tasks in Chat as you did in Hangouts in the past, you can visit the Switching to Chat from classic Hangouts page from Google.

More information will come out as we near the transition point, but for now you can do the following:

  • Visit https://chat.google.com when logged into your MLC G Suite account and take a look around to get acquainted with the new service. Google Chat has been available for a while even a we have continued to use classic Hangouts.
  • Take note of any group chats you have in classic Hangouts because they will not be migrated to Google Chat. You will need to create new groups/rooms in Google Chat.
  • Investigate the mobile app for Google Chat (available on Android and iOS devices) and some of the desktop app options as well (available through the settings/gear menu when logged into Google Chat).

If you are interested in a full list of the the known limitations of Google Chat, you can visit the Google Chat known limitations page from Google. This may help if you are wondering if the ways you are currently using classic Hangouts will be supported in Google Chat of if you will need to change how you want to work in some way.

We have created a “Chat Migration Questions” room in Google Chat in order to facilitate the migration. When you visit https://chat.google.com, you can search for available people, rooms, and bots in the upper left and just search for Chat Migration Questions and join the room to ask your questions.

Again, more reminders will be coming in the future as we near the migration date. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Network Services.

Filr 4.2 Web Client Tour

Last night’s Filr 4.2 upgrade went smoothly so this quick video tour was put together so that you can take a look at the changes.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to MLC Network Services at https://mlc-wels.edu/support. Thanks!

Filr 4.2 Upgrade Coming June 3

Greetings!

Micro Focus Filr enables those who are working away from campus to have access to campus file services through a web browser, desktop application, or mobile application. Micro Focus recently released an updated version of Filr and we are planning on upgrading to that version on June 3, 2020.

The upgrade should not take long, and if you normally utilize Filr through the desktop or web application, the differences should be minimal. However, one major update is that the web interface for Filr has been completely revamped, as soon in the screenshot here:

Functionality should all be present, but navigation to different areas may be changed. You can see that some links are along the left side and different areas may also have different tabs located in the main area. It will be an adjustment, but overall it should be a cleaner and more modern look and provide a more modern framework to add features and introduce improvements in the future.

If you have any questions after the upgrade, please reach out to MLC Network Services and we will do the best we can to help you. Thank you!

Update 6/3/2020: The upgrade is now complete and you can find a video tour of the new web client online now as well.

New Help Site Available

Just in time for school to start, we are announcing a new help site has been rolled out to everyone: KnightHelp!

KnightHelp is a new help site where we are going to slowly accumulate important information for students, faculty, and staff over time. Prof. Rachel Feld has been working to move a lot of documentation over recently and more information will be moved over there in the future.

KnightHelp is a replacement for the Knowledge Base and any updates for information stored there will instead go to KnightHelp. So check it out! Use the search box at the top of the screen! See what information is there and reach out if you have an idea for what needs to be added or changed and have a blessed start to the 2019-20 school year!

Changes over Christmas break

The staff in Network Services rolled out some changes over the Christmas break and we wanted to highlight some of those changes in a short video.

Thanks, and have a great semester!

2017-18 Sem 2 Network Services Changes

The initial Portal redesign is released

This morning you might notice that Portal looks considerably different. This release is the initial redesign of Portal to better enable usage on mobile devices and while there will continue to be work done over time to better enable mobile usage for those areas where it would be appropriate and useful.

Here are some changes to be aware of:

  • There is now a single navigation area on the top of the pages. Click on each heading to bring up the items underneath that heading. Also, check out Portal on your mobile device to see how the navigation area behaves on your mobile device. Also, visit Home > Site Map to see a listing of all of the areas you have access to on Portal.
  • To log in, you will need to click to the login page. You can find a link in the message near the top and also near the upper-right Login link.
  • We need your feedback. This release is a big step forward for Portal, but we need feedback to help us determine what improvements can continue to be made. This is a long-term and continual project and any feedback you can give on what works, what doesn’t, and what is missing will help us.

We hope you enjoy these changes and we look forward to making more updates in the future!