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Comprehensive Web Hosting

If you are one of the many University Departments and Colleges that host their Web sites on the OUCS Web servers, you may have wondered how best to implement more advanced options, without realizing that a more comprehensive Web service is also available from OUCS via NSMS.

Managed by the NSMS team, Web hosting is available with a full range of advanced features. By hosting sites on Linux (Apache) or Windows 2008 R2 (IIS v7.5), many powerful technologies are currently available and others can be made available on request

NSMS has at its disposal two advanced rack mounted Blade systems running VMware Virtual Infrastructure  and with this facility we can rapidly create and deploy Web servers to meet demanding requirements.

The ability to create new Web servers means that we can also quickly add new technologies to meet users’ requirements e.g. Java applications, Content Management Systems and reporting tools, If these are unsuitable for shared web servers, NSMS can discuss providing these on a dedicated host tailored to the customer's individual requirements, at an additional cost.

The Web servers running on the NSMS Blade systems currently offer a long list of technologies, including:

  • Perl, PHP, ASP, SSI, Python, Ruby
  • MySQL, ODBC, JDBC, MyODBC, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, PostgreSQL, phpMyAdmin
  • Microsoft .NET, ASP.NET

Users can upload their Web pages through secured interfaces. Your username and password will be safe. Databases can be uploaded directly from your desktop and then managed remotely by a variety of industry standard means.

Graphical and textual reports are generated on the first day of each month and emailed directly to you. These highlight your Web site’s performance, including hit statistics indicating user demographics and intensity of use per page.

Colleges, departments, clubs, societies and individuals can take advantage of the NSMS Web hosting service.

Please note: In terms of facilities offered, this hosting service is the most comprehensive that is offered by OUCS. You may find it useful to look at the comparison of OUCS web hosting services page to help you decide which service is the most appropriate for you.

Content Management Systems

Many Web sites are designed using a Content Management System. The NSMS Web hosting service supports the following Content Management Systems in two distinct categories according to how the server is provided:

Category 1 - hosted on our shared webservers, with the CMS fully maintained by NSMS:
  • Drupal
  • Typo 3
  • MySource Matrix from Sqiz.Net
  • Terminal 4
Category 2 - fully managed by NSMS, but on a dedicated server:
  • Zope/Plone

Hosting Features

  • .ox.ac.uk domains hosted
  • Non .ox.ac.uk domains hosted
  • Windows and Apache Servers available
  • Multiple CGI /ISAPI interfaces to chose from
  • Up to 3Gb of disk space for your site.
  • Phone and email support
  • Secure uploads via password protected and encrypted SFTP

Test and Development Web Hosting

The NSMS team can host “test and development sites” for any department, college, club, society or individual associated with Oxford University.

The advanced blade server technology which hosts our main departmental Web servers also allows us to create a new Web server within minutes. Key services such as disk space and memory can be altered rapidly and with little impact on the running of the hosted site.

Since the site is a virtual host, management of the Web technologies is straightforward and has no effect on other users’ sites.

IIS, Apache and Tomcat platforms are all available and since our test servers are all virtual, setup, configuration and deletion is fast and efficient. When compared to the time and cost of buying and configuring your own hardware to act as Web servers, the NSMS Test and Development Servers can save you time and money.

If you wish to do more extensive development, writing your own web applications for example, you may be interested in our VM4Rent service.

Charges

For current charging information for this service see our Web hosting charges page.

Case Study: Enhancing web services at the Department of Theology

The Department of Theology has an extensive and complex Web site which, by making use of many technologies, illustrates very well the main method of Web development used by many Web programmers in the University.

The key components are PHP scripts, which are used to manipulate data held in extensive MySQL databases. The databases are “hidden away” on the server, yet the webmaster can access these through a phpMyAdmin Web interface in order to make direct changes to the structure of his tables. In addition, new and updated MySQL database files can be uploaded directly from the webmaster's desktop by way of a secured FTP client.

The fact that database information is held in one easily accessible, secure, area means that it is easier to make changes quickly.