Major New Objectives, 2011-2015

This section is divided into two parts. The first lists the major new objectives we have set out for the period of this report (in addition to those noted throughout). We define major here as a project or objective that will affect the strategic direction of the collegiate University, rather than just a smaller service improvement.

In the second part we have listed those projects which would require funding in excess of £50k. Many of these are already on the ICT Project Development Envelope roadmap, as agreed with PICT and BSC. Those that are not, i.e. are new projects, would not be submitted without the prior approval of the Divisions and then would be scrutinised by PICT (or its successor) and the BSC. In some cases, these projects may be overtaken by events, and in all we would seek external funding first (e.g. through JISC).

The projects are listed in date order but for the first table we also indicate LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH in terms of the impact (strategic and financial) to the collegiate University.

Run videoconferencing service. MEDIUM. 2011 for 18 months. After money received the WebEx service was trialled throughout the University. After feedback this has now been improved and moved to a full service for 18 months (at which point it will be assessed for continuation).
Investigate residential networks. LOW. 2011 Pilot project successfully run in 2010 with Graduate Accommodation, so no considering potential for wider roll-out.
Investigation of network monitoring. LOW. 2011 Further investigation of network monitoring capabilities in light of increased size and demand.
Investigate full disk encryption service. MEDIUM. 2011 Depending upon outcomes from the Information Security Best Practice initiative, OUCS will consider the possibilities (and costs) of running a full disk encryption service.
Increase Resilience for the Podcasting and iTunes U service (‘Podcasting Infrastructure’). MEDIUM. 2011 The iTunes U service, in particular, is now a major part of the University’s outreach activities. So far it has been developed piece by piece, so this project would seek to procure new systems and hardware to place it on a more resilient footing, and streamline the capture > process > storage > dissemination workflow.
Develop and promote shared infrastructure services for the collegiate University (a series of projects including ‘Dual Site Resilience’, ‘Shared Infrastructure Services’, ‘OUCS Data Centre Refurbishment’, and ‘Federated Storage Infrastructure’). HIGH. 2011-2013 The shared data centre, managed by OUCS and in operation from Trinity 2011, is an opportunity to offer world-class shared infrastructure services. Therefore, the programme of projects associated with the data centre includes the deployment of high availability virtual infrastructure services as well as co-location (where no other option is possible). The shared infrastructure services project is augmented by funding from the University Modernisation Fund to deploy high availability private/hybrid cloud services.
Implement Core User Directory service. HIGH. Jan 2011 / June 2012 The Core User Directory Implementation Project is funded to develop a service for the gathering, reconciliation and provision of identifiers and attributes defining the relationships an individual has with the collegiate University.
Review and upgrade of OUCS Registration Database. MEDIUM. 2011/2012 The OUCS Registration database is a source of authoritative data underpinning OUCS services but also for use by other University and local services (especially as the source for email address and SSO username data). The review of the Registration Database should be undertaken in conjunction with the implementation of a CUD service, on the one hand, and the continued improvements to the University's access management services provided by OUCS.
Enhancing OUCS Web publishing services. MEDIUM. 2011-12 (staff) The Web Publishing Service (also known as provides basic website facilities for users. In addition, OUCS offers a number of other services that enable an online 'presence' for units and individuals. During 2009/10 OUCS has undertaken an internal assessment of these services in preparation for a more extensive user consultation and implementation project. Student clubs and societies; and department websites are likely to be early beneficiaries of an enhanced web publishing service.
Providing services for research data management (also including ‘Managing Capacity for Backup and Archiving’ Phases 2-4 see below, plus work noted above on shared infrastructure services). MEDIUM. 2011/12-2013 OUCS is a leading department in the development and implementation of the University's strategy for the management of research data. Both the EIDCSR and Sudamih projects have recommended service enhancements for the better support for research data management and curation. In particular, the provision of more specialised training; the availability of day to day federated storage to augment local provision; the capture, storage and publication of metadata as part of the HFS archiving process; and the provision of a database-as-service platform. These activities may be subsumed under the overall programme of shared infrastructure services being developed in connection with the new shared data centre.
Replace Backbone Network. HIGH. 2011 to 2013 The University network backbone will need replacing in 2012, as some of the present hardware becomes unsupported then. Consultation and planning for this will begin in 2011 leading to a proposal for how this can be taken forward. The plan would be to upgrade to at least 40Gbps, but we will take into account new opportunities presented by Janet SIX.
Development of an actionable service catalogue for OUCS. LOW. 2011/12 – 2012/13 Rationalise the OUCS service listings so that a single "service catalogue" is readily discoverable and accessible to users; provide a mechanism for service providers to publish a list of associated projects, service requests; develop fully or semi-automated self-service request fulfilment mechanism for selected services (e.g. Web hosting services; Kerberos principles, etc.)
Refurbishment of OUCS data centre. HIGH. 2012/13 The refurbishment of the OUCS data centre project will be defined as a result of a feasibility study in 2010-11. However, priorities for refurbishment include the replacing of the air conditioning system; re-balancing the power phasing; contained aisles where appropriate; and reviewing UPS requirements.
WebLearn: ‘Hybrid’ Sakai 2/3. MEDIUM. 2012/14 A phased project looking at using Sakai 3 alongside Sakai 2 to meet University objectives. Awaits completion of Sakai 3.
Managing Capacity for backup and Archiving services (‘Managing Capacity for Backup and Archiving’ Phases 2-4). MEDIUM. 2013 A series of phased projects to take forward the development of the HFS (already underway), to make it more resilient and to provide sufficient capacity. This will also work in conjunction with the work being undertaken in the new Shared data Centre for shared infrastructure and storage. Projects will include the replacement of the existing Automatic Tape Library which is obsolete (13 years old). The replacement of the tape library should be considered together with the possibility of providing dual site backup/archive servers (within the new data centre) in order to mitigate the risks associated with having a single HFS installation in the OUCS data centre. This objective will be informed by the results of a feasibility study taking place in 2011. The upgrade to the tape drives will extend enable extended use of the tape library until its replacement fulfilled.

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