Over the coming months we are carrying out a complete refresh of the MyBlog infrastructure (i.e. the servers and associated hardware that the platform sits on). This is the first major refresh since the blogging service was introduced over 5 years ago. In that time blogging at UAL has increased rapidly and is now widely used to support student learning across the University.
Why is this work needed?
This refresh is not only needed to maintain the performance and reliability of the MyBlog platform but to meet the needs of new and innovative approaches to teaching large student cohorts. As a result of this refresh we can expect to see a faster, more stable platform with fewer outages and down time, and improved capacity to manage demand during peak usage periods. MyBlog is now fully incorporated into IT’s Systems Refresh and Patching Programme so that the platform’s infrastructure will be maintained as part of a planned and managed life-cycle.
What changes can I expect to see?
As part of the refresh we will be improving the security of the platform to ensure that user log-ins and other data sent between your browser and the MyBlog platform are encrypted and secure. You will notice that the url changes from http to https – indicating a secure connection. Users should be aware that any media embedded from a non-https third-party website will no longer display on a blog page. Many sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, have already moved to supporting https and will not present any issues.
We have also included real-time Antivirus scanning of file uploads to help protect against malicious viruses and other malware.
A new look and feel
We have refreshed the look and feel for the MyBlog platform to unify and simplify the look and feel of our DL platforms and improve the student experience in this area. We will not be adding or changing the functionality of the platform.
Removing obsolete accounts
Myblog contains some content which has not been updated for a long time and which belongs to students who are no longer at UAL. To free up much needed storage capacity and to comply with GDPR requirements we are going to remove student blogs and accounts which meet *all* the following criteria:
- The student left UAL in any year prior to and including 17/18
- The blog has not been updated since the academic year 15/16
Staff accounts and content will not be affected.
When is this work being carried out?
We have already started the work as there are many stages to this project. During the final phase we will need to take MyBlog out of service for a short period of time. The dates to be aware of are:
- 05th February 2019 – final sync of user accounts and blog content from the old to the new infrastructure. We will need to take MyBlogs out of service, but will aim to keep this to an absolute minimum.
- 06th February 2019 – DNS updated – MyBlog will be available, but may take up to 24 hours before it is fully accessible globally. MyBlog will be available almost immediately to those accessing it from the UAL network however, the service should be considered ‘at risk’. Users may lose their work if they make changes during this period and we have to roll-back
- 07th February 2019 – final testing and sign off / roll back decision
I have questions, who can I contact?
If you want to know more about this work, or have any concerns about how it will impact your students please either contact Ruth Powell or firstname.lastname@example.org.