University of Minnesota

UThink News

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March 24, 2014

UThink will be retired December 2014

Please be advised that University Libraries and University IT will retire the UThink system, and sites within the UThink domain no longer will be available after December 31, 2014.

The decision to retire UThink was based on several factors, including:

  • Reduced usage
    • Overall UThink usage has been decreasing at a steady rate.
    • Since 2008, UThink sites have dropped from 1,000 active sites to 500 currently.
  • Significant security issues
    • There have been increased and consistent attacks by spammers, and battling these spam attacks takes system resources away from more important needs that support the University's mission.
  • There are now a number of more robust and secure U of M-supported technologies and software alternatives to serve the needs currently handled by UThink. Some of these alternatives include:
    • Blogger
    • Google Sites
    • Moodle
    • Enterprise Drupal Content Management System.
Make note of these key dates in the decommission process:
  • After June 30, 2014, the ability to create new blogs or sites on the system will be removed.
  • Existing blogs will be accessible throughout the 2014 spring and fall semesters.
  • Full system decommission December 31, 2014.

You are encouraged to start considering alternatives to UThink now. The Libraries and IT are planning methods for assisting with migrations to new systems. However, you can take advantage of UThink's data export features now. The UThink data export tool will create a text-based file of all your blog's entries and comments. To create an export of your blog,

  1. Login to UThink,
  2. Select your blog
  3. Select Tools -> Export from the Navigation menu.


The Libraries are also investigating new publishing consultation and platform services that may be appropriate for some UThink content, as well as new content (e.g., open access journals). More information regarding these new services will be forthcoming.

We apologize for any inconvenience or disruption due to the decommission. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Shane Nackerud, UThink Project Lead
University Libraries eLearning Support Initiative
snackeru@umn.edu

Steve Nguyen, Service Director
Collaboration and Web Content Services
spn@umn.edu



March 15, 2014

UThink will be down 6am - 7am March 16

From the Office of Information Technology:

On Sunday, March 16, during the regular 6 a.m.-noon maintenance window, there will be a service-affecting upgrade to the Enterprise Network Attached Storage (eNAS) service. This upgrade will cause a disruption to eNAS (files.umn.edu) and will affect any user, system or service that connects to files.umn.edu and nfs.umn.edu, including Active Directory connections in particular.

The upgrade is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m., and the total downtime is expected to be approximately one hour. During the actual outage, other systems and services that connect to this storage also will be impacted. Those services include:

  • Central email and Gophermail (not University Gmail)
  • UMContent
  • NetFiles
  • Personal web space
  • UThink blogs

Once the upgrade has been completed and eNAS is back online, all affected services will automatically reconnect to the storage service.

eNAS supports the centralized storage for most enterprise systems, and provides consistent and reliable storage management to the University. This upgrade will bring improved performance to and prepare the system for future enhancements, such as role-based administration. You can learn more about Enterprise Storage Services at www.oit.umn.edu/network-storage/index.htm.

Updates will be available on the University's System Status site (http://systemstatus.umn.edu/view/Main/SystemStorageServices), and ServiceNow users can also find information and updates in CHG0035298. Please share this information with any of your end users who may be affected.