4. Executive Summary

In section 6 we look at the performance and use of the range of services offered by OUCS throughout 2008-2009. Different services will report in different ways, but wherever possible we have tried to also break down usage according to the academic divisions and other units within the University, in line with the future implementation of the Type 123 funding model.

In summary we would like to highlight the following major trends and findings:
  • the size and use of the network continues to expand – traffic has risen from 14.5GB/day in 2007-2008 to 22.3GB/day in 2008-2009 and the number of registered hosts now exceeds 80,000 (see section 5);
  • at the same time the threats to the security of the network are on the increase (see 6.5);
  • this was the last full-year of the Herald email service (in 2009-2010 we move to Nexus) but once again we notice the amount of email traffic increasing (see 6.13 and 6.2) and also the amount of spam (we reject about 87% of the amount of messages received each day, allowing around 560,000 through);
  • the most popular means of accessing email is via a Web browser;
  • demand for the HFS continues to increase with a 31-33% rise over 2007-2008 in terms of data stored (see 6.4);
  • by analyzing client data across our services and surveying users we are observing an increased penetration of Apple computers (now 23-25%) and an increased demand for support for Macs;
  • the Webauth Single Sign-On system is now being used across the University – not just for services provided centrally but also for those run by local units (there are 136 non-OUCS Webauth services for example). The Shibboleth service is also now firmly established (23,886 distinct users in this year of reporting);
  • all our services (with the exception of dial-up which will be phased out in 2010) are witnessing increased usage including our advisory and training services, and Weblearn (6.6.1-3, 6.10, 6.11, and 6.18);
  • all the divisions make substantial use of our services, but they are also heavily used by the Colleges and central units;
  • the demand for additional services provided by our NSMS service continues to grow as many faculties and departments seek to offload some of their IT support issues to OUCS (6.17);
  • requests for support for learning, teaching, and research are on the increase and projects such as the iTunes U service have attracted considerable support interest (6.12).

In section 7 we then report on the numerous projects we have undertaken over the year. These are absolutely key to the future of OUCS as they provide external funding at a time when resources are severely stretched that allow us to take forward the development of key University services and explore new possibilities.

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