2022 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. Since it took us almost exactly one year to fill our vacant Linux System Engineer position (once again: welcome Sascha!), we didn't have as much capacity for innovation as in previous years and had to focus more on system maintenance.

Some highlights of 2022:

  • Mail server: the D-PHYS mail server got an OS upgrade in spring and was migrated to our general hypervisor setup, which adds redundancy and facilitates maintenance. In addition, work is in progress to support DKIM and further tighten our SPF and DMARC settings.
  • Web server setup: the main D-PHYS web server got an OS upgrade in spring, test and staging environments and optional ssh access for power users.
  • Infrastructure work: our Ansible deployment setup was further extended and refined and the first Windows servers have been added.
    Work has started to replace the Sophos virus scanner on managed Windows workstations.
    We migrated our floating licenses from three servers to a single high availability server.
    Within the next year, we'll migrate all eGroupware users to the new SOGo calendar.
  • Storage: in 2022 the disk space occupied by data and backup grew from 3.7 PiB to 4.8 PiB, marking a significant annual growth in storage volume. A major storage migration is due in early 2023.
  • Matrix/Element: This year we counted 737 active users, who sent 1'019'205 messages in 5'259 rooms that were created on our server. Our users also participated in 423 other rooms where 1'190'446 messages were sent. Two additional research groups migrated from Slack to Matrix.
  • ISG lecture series: our Basics of Computing Environments for Scientists lecture series was held twice in 2022 with surprisingly low attendance.
  • Outages: apart from some short-term network interruptions, our systems were pretty stable in 2022, with the notable exception of a localized "3 dead disks in a RAID6" disaster in September.
  • OS upgrades: most managed Linux workstations were upgraded to Ubuntu 22.04 and the majority of servers are now running Debian bullseye. The Windows team prepared a new LTSC release and a Windows 11 setup. The managed Macs were all upgraded to macOS Monterey.
  • Software upgrades: mostly incremental upgrades in our Windows and Linux software list this year.
  • IT security: with the world being what it is, IT security plays an ever increasing role in our work and permeates all our plans and projects. We also take part in the current rewrite of ETH's IT security regulations.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my whole team for their hard and dedicated work all year long.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2023!

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