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TAMU Webmaster's Blog

Information and insight from the A&M Webmasters

In The Beginning…

August 5th, 2014 by Charlie Harris

We feel like we’ve come a long way since we started re-vamping the Marketing & Communications computing environment, so I thought I would make my first “real” post just an outline of where we came from…

At times we have lamented not having a picture of what my office looked like when I first started working with Marketing & Communications in 2006. To say it was “less than ideal” is putting it kind of mildly. From an office crammed full of servers with only a window unit for cooling, to our current setup has been quite a big change. Having that picture would have been a nice reminder.

When I came on, everything was located in Bizzell Hall in one office. Obviously from a power and cooling standpoint this was not the saftest environment. No redundant power. No central AC. No AC backup. Not good. After some discussion with our administration we were able to get approval to move our mail and main file servers to the Teague machine room. This was a huge step. Fortunately our backup procedure was pretty good so we were much better off after that initial change.

Slowly over the next year or two we were able to aquire new hardware and transition all of our web services machines to Teague. After adding some dedicated database (mySQL and MSSQL) servers, we had most all of our core equipment and production servers in a much more stable and conrolled environment. It was around this time (2008ish) that we started looking at virtualizing machines. We previously had most every service separated out on its own hardware. Starting with stand alone VMWare ESX machines, we were able to start consolidating machines and services into a more manageable virtual machine environment. This allowed much better management features and better efficiency with our hardware.

In 2011 we started the process of moving toward our current setup by beginning to transition to the new CIS Cloud services. This gave us access to the full blown VMware suite and feature set which previously had been out of our price range. This is mostly where we stand now, being able to let CIS manage the backend system letting us concentrate on the server managment side.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 Systems
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