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Front Door Server Transition

August, 2009   Apache Upgrade   SFTP Upgrade   Schedule   User Testing   CSCWWW Retirement


August 12, 2009

Two upgrades for the static-page servers were complete early Wednesday morning, August 12, 2009:

  1. Apache web server software

  2. SFTP server software


Apache Upgrade

The Apache web server software was updated. Preliminary testing did not reveal any visible differences in normal operation. This was not a major-version change, it was a point-release; we do know that a number of bugs have been fixed.


SFTP Upgrade

The SFTP server software was updated. Preliminary testing did not reveal any visible differences when using Fetch with Macintosh or FileZilla with Windows, except that whole-subsite uploads and downloads do now work with FileZilla 3.2.6.1 (and possibly earlier versions), in addition to working with Fetch.


Schedule

The upgrades were done in the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 12, during our regular maintenance window (midnight to 6 am). Prior to that, there was a period of user-testing, details below (this was particularly important for those using any SFTP software other than Fetch or FileZilla -- for example, the SFTP software built in to Dreamweaver and Contribute).


User Testing

The updated software is already installed on our test server, along with copies of the web site files as of shortly after midnight on the morning of July 28, 2009. We have confirmed that the current versions of Fetch (5.5.1) on the Macintosh and of FileZilla (3.2.6.1) on Windows do work correctly.

  1. We urge all pagemasters who are using older versions of Fetch or FileZilla to confirm correct operation with the test server or to update their software:

    • FileZilla installation instructions are available online in a separate file.

    • Fetch installation instructions are available online at the top of the step-by-step instructions for transferring files.

  2. We urge all pagemasters who are using any other SFTP software (e.g., the SFTP software that is built in to Dreamweaver or Contribute) to confirm correct operation with the test server.

If you encounter problems while trying to confirm correct operation (including uploading HTML and graphic image files) or to update Fetch or FileZilla, then please let us know the details immediately by e-mail to webteam@ohio.edu.

The only differences that we expect you to encounter are:

  1. the test server's name: wwt2.ohio.edu;

  2. the fact that browsing pages on the test server requires OAK authentication: this is for the same reason that we have password-protected the staging server -- we don't want the search engines leading people to outdated pages.

For nearly all pagemasters, this will be the first time you have connected to that server by SFTP; consequently, you will have to confirm the new security key.

Anyone who has previously connected to wwt2 is likely to encounter problems, because wwt2's security key has changed during our testing. The issue is the "known hosts" file, where your computer stores the security keys of servers you have used; FileZilla will provide you with the opportunity to accept and use the new key, but Fetch will fail to connect, displaying only a cryptic error message, and will require you to follow the process outlined within step 2 of the Transferring Files section of the instructions linked above.


CSCWWW Retirement

The old CSCWWW server (which formerly provided the static-page server function) was permanently retired on April 27, 2009. A more detailed discussion of that process has been preserved online.


Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohio.edu/transition/index.html) on August 12, 2009.
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