The Oxford Nexus Service provides a suite of software applications to help users work collaboratively within groups. The suite includes: email, online calendar, shared documents, web pages, shared contact lists and other collaboration tools. The Oxford Nexus Service is built on the Microsoft Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010 platforms. The Service is available to all staff and students within the collegiate University.
This SLD describes the services available via the Nexus Exchange 2010 implementation. A corresponding SLD (<http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/internal/sld/sharepoint.xml>) describes the services available via the Nexus SharePoint service.
Users are allocated an initial storage quota of 2GB on the Exchange system. This is a 'hard' quota and is further described at <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/email/quota/>. Users requiring an increase in their quota should contact the IT Services Help Centre, Banbury Road in the first instance. You may be asked to justify your request, or to confirm approval from your head of department, IT Support Officer or tutor. A discretionary increase in your quota allowance is unlikely to exceed 3GB. A chargeable 'premium' service is available for those users requiring additional quota in excess of the discretionary allowance. The service is authorised by, and charged to, the unit (department or college) rather than the end-user directly.
As with many services provided by IT Services, support is provided through a combination of IT Services and local IT support (ITSS). As the overall Oxford Nexus Service provider, IT Services may always be contacted by users about any aspect of the service.
Where primary support is not expected to be provided by IT Services, and is, for example, the user's local ITSS then in many cases ITSS are able to instruct IT Services on behalf of the user. Users will generally be referred to IT Services for secondary support where primary support is provided by local IT support. In all cases, users may contact IT Services in the first instance about any aspect of the Oxford Nexus Service if they so choose. This may, for example, be the most efficient route to resolve most basic problems. In more complex cases IT Services may refer the user to their primary IT support or require the involvement of local IT support in order to resolve the issue.
Oxford Nexus Service systems staff cover is normally available from 0900 to 1700 on working days. Minimal operational cover operates from 0830 to 2030 on working days. Automatic monitoring of the main service elements takes place outside these hours, and informal arrangements exist for staff to be called, but no funding is provided to make this contractual.
The IT Services help desk service currently operates 0830-2030 Monday-Friday all year round except for bank holidays and Christmas closure (approximately 24th December - 2nd January). Please see the IT Services/OUCS Help Centre SLD for further details of the Help Centre responsibilities, <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/internal/sld/help.xml>.
The Oxford Nexus Service hardware is located in two physical locations within the Oxford network. Complete failure at one site should result in failover to the second site with minimal loss of service. Within each site components such as servers and storage have been deployed with resilience and business continuity in mind.
Software updates are provided by the relevant vendor and applied by IT Services. Where possible the JANET maintenance period (Tuesdays, 0700-0900) is reserved for maintenance work that may affect service availability. Except in the case of emergency maintenance (e.g. security fixes), scheduled downtime will be advertised at least a week in advance.
Some departments and colleges run their own Exchange or other email service. Where a unit wishes to migrate from their local service to Nexus IT Services will provide advice to departments and colleges on a reasonable efforts basis, including an initial assessment of the complexity and likely resources required to undertake any such migration, as well as providing supporting materials relating to the preferred methods of undertaking any migration process. However, no specific resources have been allocated for IT Services to undertake a migration from a department service to the Nexus Service or for enabling interoperability between Nexus and a local Exchange instance, for example. Departments wishing to migrate from a local service or who wish to use Nexus beyond the scope of the service defined in this SLD would be expected to commit the required resources to enable any IT Services support for such activities (where feasible). Some useful background information, including indicators of the level of support IT Services can provide to migrating units is described at <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/nexus/itss/altmigrate.xml>. Departments seeking a hosting facility for their own Exchange or email service should contact NSMS in the first instance.
Support documentation for all aspects of the Oxford Nexus Service is provided online at <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/nexus/>.
The IT Services IT Learning Programme provides a range of courses relevant to use of the Oxford Nexus Service, <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/itlp/>.
Notification of major faults, service outage etc are circulated to the itss- email@example.com mailing list and placed on the IT Services Status website, <http://status.ox.ac.uk>.
Problems with the Service should be reported to the IT Services Help Centre, <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/help/>, in the first instance where, if appropriate, the issue will be escalated to the Oxford Nexus Service team for specialist diagnostics and advice.
Account management is delegated to IT Services Registration services. The SLD for the Registration Service specifies the list of services offered <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/internal/sld/registration.xml>. These include, but are not confined to:
- Automated and manual provisioning of Oxford Single Sign-on credentials;
- Automated and manual provisioning of Oxford email address;
- Bulk creation of Single Sign-on and email accounts for new students;
- Issuing of activation and rescue codes for SSO accounts;
- Changes to mail routing;
- Changes to email address;
- Provision of additional department or college email addresses;
- Provision of non-personal accounts and generic email addresses for college or department;
- Discretionary extension of accounts;
- Discretionary increases to mailbox quotas
- View and set mail routings for their users
- View (but not change) their users' routing for other units
- View and update the routings for generic email addresses
- Issue Activation or Rescue code for SSO accounts of their users
- Request additional chargeable quota on behalf of their users
|Service||Description||Primary user support|
|IMAP, SMTP, POP3, ‘Outlook Anywhere’, Outlook Web Access (incl. OWA lite)||Standard Exchange services provided by the Nexus team.||IT Services|
|Quota usage||Enabling end-users to view quota usage.||IT Services|
|Out of office message||Automated email reply to indicate user away from email. Functionality is enabled/disabled by user.||IT Services|
|Spam scoring and filtering||Scoring of incoming mail via the Oxmails and filtering via Exchange.||IT Services|
|Blacklisting and Whitelisting||Safe senders may be specified by user||IT Services|
|Anti-virus||Virus checking at the Oxmails and at the Exchange servers||IT Services|
|Backup and recovery||Users may restore accidentally deleted items up to seven days after the event via the Exchange Restore Deleted Items functionality. After this period, restores are reliant on the backup service as provided by the HFS Backup and Archiving Service <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/internal/sld/hfs.xml>. Backups are retained, primarily for the purpose of system restores. IT Services operates a chargeable service for the attempted recovery of user deleted items from system backups, <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/services/recovery.xml>. Whole mailboxes may be restored to a specific historical date up to a maximum of 60 days ago, but this can be a minimum of 50 days depending on the mailbox’ place in the backup cycle. Beyond this point, mailbox backups are available at 11 day intervals, up to a minimum of 80 days and a maximum of 90 days in the past.||IT Services|
|Deleted Items and junk mail retention policy||IT Services purges items in users' Deleted Items and Junk Mail folders after 90 days but items are retained in 'Recover Deleted Items' (sometimes referred to as the "dumpster") for a further 7 days after purging.||IT Services|
|Resource booking||Provision of mailbox accounts to manage room and other resource bookings||IT Services|
|BlackBerry Enterprise Server hosting||Service provided for the benefit of BlackBerry hand held users.||IT Services|
|BlackBerry user creation||Creation of accounts||Provisioned by IT Services under instruction from ITSS|
|BlackBerry server administration||Deletions and suspension of accounts, policy setting, applying user licences.||Provisioned by IT Services under instruction from ITSS|
|BlackBerry support documentation||Primarily the responsibility of IT Services, with departmental/college-specific information (including contractual information) the responsibility of ITSS.||IT Services|
For Exchange client support the first port of call for documentation is the IT Services/OUCS web site <http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/nexus/>.
The Nexus mailboxes associated with those whose University Card has expired (or status changed so that they are no longer eligible for a Nexus mailbox) are not deleted immediately. The following procedure is followed:
- A default 2 month grace period is permitted, during which time the mailbox remains active and email may be forwarded to another (external) address and/or an Out of Office (OOF) message set to inform senders that the mailbox may no longer be monitored.
- During the grace period, even though the mailbox remains active, no direct access is available to the expired/departed user.
- At the end of the grace period, the mailbox is flagged for deletion and messages sent to the mailbox receive a ‘Recipient unknown’ (#550) message
- The mailbox is deleted from the live system one month after the end of the grace period
- The mailbox data still remain within system backup tapes for a further 80-90 days after deletion on line.
Mailboxes that are shared using the privileges of Full Access have 'mailbox auditing' logs switched on by default, with the exception of resource mailboxes (used for room bookings etc.). Audit logs enable better support for shared mailboxes (e.g. identifying the cause of missing items) and ensure that in the event of a security incident associated with the mailbox there is a record of access to, and activity within, the mailbox. Logs are not routinely analysed and are only ever accessed either in order to provide support, with the permission of the mailbox owner, or as part of an investigation arising from a security incident (in line with the University's IT Regulations).
Logs which are created by the Exchange system are kept for around 90 days under normal circumstances. This includes the mailbox audit logs (see 'Shared mailbox logging', above) which log in a 90-day 'circular' fashion. (See also 'Backup and recover' above for the retention times for mailbox backups).
The following table lists services provided by, or related to, the Oxford Nexus Service but where it is expected that the primary means of support to the end-user will be provided by local IT support or similar.
- Regulations Relating to the use of Information Technology Facilities
- JANET(UK) Statement of JANET acceptable use policy
- Eduserv User Obligations for the use of Site Licensed Software and Datasets
- University Policy on Data Protection
- University Information Security Policy
- manage their storage space within the quota limits allocated;
- limit the number of items in any one folder to no more than 100,000, or 500 if an IMAP client is in use. (To ensure adequate system performance, it may be necessary to suspend access to the service for any user who exceeds these limits and is identified in system logs as causing a fault);
- to refrain from activity detrimental to others or to the reputation of the University (as detailed in the University Regulations Relating to the Use of Information Technology Facilities);
- keep secure and private their Oxford username (SSO) password.
- A chargeable large quota service is available for users requiring in excess of the 3GB discretionary quota. Any quota assigned above 3GB is charged to the user's sponsoring unit. Currently the charge is £1.50 per GB per month (or part thereof). Authorisation to use this service is submitted on the user's behalf by the sponsoring unit (generally the ITSS).