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Wings Goes Virtual

Wings upgrade

Published March 4, 2013

By Rick Lesniak, lesniak@buffalo.edu

Wings has been UB’s public Web hosting environment since the inception of the Web at UB in the early 1990s. With the release of UBCMS, UB’s enterprise web content management system, Wings continues to provide service to the university for non-official UB websites, course pages, and various virtual hosts. The underlying hardware of the current Wings is old, however, and Wings has been suffering performance issues especially during times of peak demand. Unfortunately, old hardware is difficult and expensive to upgrade.

To address these performance issues and to provide a mechanism to quickly and inexpensively upgrade system resources, a technical project team within CIT’s Enterprise Infrastructure Services has put together a plan to upgrade the Wings server hardware during Spring break. Wings’ current hardware devices are being emulated on new virtualized servers. This upgrade will significantly improve performance of Wings, and enable additional upgrades when performance issues demand them.
The new virtual Wings environment has been constructed with identical system binaries, libraries, applications and file system that should eliminate any functionality issues. Although they anticipate a very smooth transition, it is possible that some Web pages and applications may not function properly on the new virtual Wings environment.

UB wings

Wings information providers and programmers are invited to preview their websites on the new virtual environment before the new system is put into full production. What matters most is that any problems are brought to the attention of the technical team so they can identify the configuration problems and address them. To assist with the process, a website has been constructed at www.buffalo.edu/ubit/new-wings with technical details about testing, and answers to frequently asked questions.

We think everyone will be pleased with the performance improvements in the new virtual Wings environment.  If you have additional questions or concerns, you can direct them to the technical team by sending email to wings-upgrade@buffalo.edu.