2014 in review

This post is meant to give you a short overview of what has been accomplished in D-PHYS IT by ISG this year. We’ve been hard at work to further improve and extend our services for you, our customers. Some highlights of 2014:

  • eXile: in order to be able to keep Windows XP machines that cannot be upgraded connected to the network, we have created the exile system of dedicated virtual firewalls. Currently there are 57 computers safely hidden in this network.
  • Security flaws: 2014 saw the disclosure of three rather severe and widespread security problems in quick succession: Heartbleed, Shellshock and Poodle. We patched all affected systems within hours of the announcements and also scanned the network for hosts that had been overlooked. If you're managing any networked machines (not just servers!) yourself, please make sure those are not vulnerable.
  • Outages: we had a major incident on August 27 due to a failure of the server room cooling system. Fortunately we were able to repair the damage within hours. Other than that, our systems have been very stable in 2014 and we only had minor issues.
  • Storage: in 2014 the disk space occupied by data and backup grew from 535 TiB to 685 TiB, further increasing the yearly growth rate. Another 120 TiB are already in the pipeline.
  • Printing: in cooperation with Informatikdienste we prepared and introduced the new ETH printing system in D-PHYS. Several groups have migrated already, the rest of D-PHYS will follow in 2015.
  • IPv6: during the last 12 months we prepared the D-PHYS network for dual stack (IPv4 + IPv6) operation. The biggest step towards a working IPv6 infrastructure was the deployment of an IPv6-ready DHCP server. Beginning next January we will incrementally hand out IPv6 addresses in the D-PHYS network. Later on, we'll make our services IPv6-ready.
  • Brain drain: two ISG group members decided to take on new challenges this year. In November, Thomas Berchtold left us after 3 successful years to become the new Head of IT of D-BAUG, and Elmar Heeb, the founding father of ISG D-PHYS, will start his new job in Informatikdienste in February. We thank both Thomas and Elmar for their dedicated work and contribution to the team and hope to stay in regular contact with them in the future. Christian Ringger will replace Thomas in January, while Elmar's succession is still work in progress.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2015!

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