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Greetings Everyone,

My institution is conducting some research on 1) distributed file systems and 2) web hosting at other universities. Please see the message below:

The University of Georgia's central IT department, EITS, has two general offerings for web hosting.  For students, we offer static HTML hosting on load-balanced Apache web servers which mount content on Novell Cluster Services via NFS.  For departments, faculty, and student organizations, we offer static HMTL, CGI, and PHP (via suexec+fastcgi) on load-balanced Apache web servers.  The shared NFS storage is not currently redundant.  We offer distinct sub-environments for the development cycle: dev, staging, and production.  We offer MySQL using a multi-master configuration.  We are hoping to bolster our storage redundancy with GlusterFS.  We also plan to roll out Tomcat hosting at the first of the year.

Before we try this new storage backend, we wanted to poll other institutions about their hosting environments.  Your use of GlusterFS, other cluster file system, or decision not to use such is of particular interest.

But, while we're asking questions, we'd like to get a general sense of your central hosting offerings:

1. Does central IT at your University offer web hosting to departments, students, or student organizations? Could you briefly any difference in the environments offered?

2. Does your institution make use of any outsourced web hosting vendors?  Which ones?

3. Are your web servers load-balanced?  How?

4. Are your storage back-ends redundant? How? Have you tried GlusterFS or decided against its use for any reason?

5. Which databases do you offer?  What redundancy do you have for those servers?

6. Do you manage hosting accounts with a commercial tool, such as Plesk?  Which one?

7. Do you offer a development and/or staging environment?

8. Do you have any other comments on your environment, such as off-site redundancy or use of a cloud provider like Ec2?

Any answers that you can provide to the above questions are greatly appreciated!


Stanley Wyre

Research Assistant

Enterprise Information Technology Services

University of Georgia

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