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 Current Outages:

 Nothing to report!

IT Services are not currently aware of any system outages.

 Scheduled Maintenance:

Exchange Email: Security Updates

Updated: 8 Apr 2021 at 10:58am | Maintenance Window: 8 Apr 2021 12:00am to 16 Apr 2021 12:00am Birmingham Affected Dubai Affected

Starting from today, we will be applying the latest security fixes to our email servers. The work planned will continue through to Friday 16th April. Whilst we do this work, you may find that when we are working on your particular server your Outlook client drops a connection for a few minutes. If this happens to you, it should be possible to switch to Webmail for a short period before you can revert back to using Outlook.  We apologise for any disruption this may cause.


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BlueBEAR HPC: Operating System Upgrade

Updated: 8 Apr 2021 at 2:47pm | Maintenance Window: 8 Apr 2021 12:00am to 10 Apr 2021 12:00am Birmingham Affected Dubai Affected

BlueBEAR will be unavailable to users during the period of Thursday 8th to Friday 9th April due to the upgrade to CentOS 8. Further information on the upgrade has been sent out to BlueBEAR users via our mailing list.

 

Any jobs that would not complete their requested time before April 8th will not start until after the upgrade. So, for example, a 10 day job submitted on March 31st would not start until after the upgrade (10th April).

 


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BEAR Services: Firewall Replacement

Updated: 8 Apr 2021 at 2:47pm | Maintenance Window: 9 Apr 2021 12:00am to 10 Apr 2021 12:00am Birmingham Affected Dubai Affected

On Friday 9th April we will be replacing the firewalls that connect the BEAR network to the campus network. This means that there will be some intermittent disruption in access to BEAR services. During the day you may not be able to access:

  • BlueBEAR HPC [there is a separate maintenance window affecting BlueBEAR 8th/9th April]
  • Research Data Store (RDS)
  • BEAR Gitlab
  • BEARCloud VMs
  • BEAR Data Share
  • BEAR Data Transfer

 

The replacement firewalls will provide additional capacity to connect to BEAR services and help provide security to protect BEAR services. We will also be taking the opportunity to change how the firewalls are connected to the campus network which will prevent a further outage when the core campus network switches are replaced later in the year.

 

Due to the nature of the work, we have to disconnect the BEAR network from the campus network whilst we replace the firewalls and there are a few areas where we are not able to fully test this in advance. So whilst the change-over of the connections doesn’t take long, there may be a few configuration items we need to fix once they are connected and passing traffic.

 

If you have essential data stored on the RDS that you need to access during the cutover, you may need to take a local copy for the duration of the cutover. If you have offline files enabled for RDS, you will also need to ensure you mark the storage “online” after the work is completed to ensure your updated files are synchronised to RDS.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


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 Recent Service Changes:

Campus WiFi certificate update

Updated: 25 Feb 2021 at 3:46pm Birmingham Affected

We have recently updated the certificate used for our WiFi networks on campus. The certificate authenticates the connection between your device and the WiFi and encrypts it.

 

This may mean that if you haven’t been on campus for a while that the first time you try to connect your device to the eduroam WiFi you may be asked to verify the certificate to connect again. If you do see this message then it is safe to verify the certificate.

 

You can also download and use the setup tool at cat.eduroam.org if you need help configuring your device. Just click on download the eduroam installer, select University of Birmingham from the list and choose the device type you wish to install it on.


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New Staff & Student Gateway pages now live

Updated: 11 Feb 2021 at 10:12am Birmingham Affected Dubai Affected

Two new gateway pages have now been launched for staff and students to access some administration services.

Access to these services was previously via the my.bham portal. This is a step towards the decommissioning of my.bham, due to happen soon.

The Student Gateway page will be used by students to access:

  • Exam Marks & Progress Decisions
  • My Provisional Marks
  • My Registered Modules
  • PGR Monthly Supervision Record – GRS2 (for PGRs)
  • PGR Management forms
  • Degree Congregations replies
  • My Absence Recording
  • Online Registration (alternative access)

The Staff Gateway page will be used by staff to access:

  • BIRMS
  • GRS2 (for supervisors of PGRs)

Both gateway pages require login with your University email and password. The staff gateway requires staff to use the Staff VPN if off-campus.

Links to relevant services can be found in the Student Digital Services and Staff Digital Services pages in the intranet.


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