Wings Web hosting retired as of January 17, 2018

By Joe Ferguson

Published January 17, 2018

Joe Ferguson (UB Student, Class of 2019) was born in Sacramento, CA, but currently lives in Lockport, NY. He is studying Marketing/Public Relations and Communications. He hopes to get a job in as a marketing person or PR agent for a California-based company when he graduates.

UB is comprised of hundreds of unique schools, departments, clubs and organizations, and most are responsible for maintaining their own Web pages. As of January 17, 2018, one of UB's Web hosting services, Wings, has retired.

UBIT worked closely with UB faculty, staff and students using the Wings service to review, migrate or decommission their sites. Thanks to a tremendous combined effort, a total of 480 sites were reviewed, 300 of which were decommissioned. 180 sites were migrated into UBCMS or WebApps.

Why the change?

Wings relied on dated infrastructure running old versions of software. “It is difficult, in some cases impossible, to perform preventative maintenance and necessary updates,” said Brad Beardslee, System Administrator with Enterprise Infrastructure Services, part of UB Information Technology. “It’s time to retire older technology to allow for modern day tools and platforms to be used for developing and serving university content.”

For the majority of university sites, hosting will now rely on two already existing options—the UB Content Management System (UBCMS) and WordPress. But for some Web services, a new environment is being introduced, called WebApps.

UBCMS

UBCMS hosts official UB academic, administrative, or research sites. This environment is best for sites supported by an experienced technical staff member.

UBCMS currently houses over 140 official UB sites. “The tool is easy to use for Web creation and comes with branded templates for your pages and sites, so you can enter content directly without worrying about coding or advanced customization,” said Brad.

WordPress

WordPress is the best option for faculty, less technical staff or authorized students whose role is to author or publish official university Web pages. The WordPress environment allows for simple HTML pages and forms.

Introducing WebApps

WebApps is a new UB Web hosting solution, an in-depth development environment based on containers, which are isolated environments that developers can use freely without affecting other developers’ live sites.

WebApps allows for standalone Web development and hosting, or can be used in conjunction with UBCMS and WordPress, also currently offered through UB.

Since neither UBCMS nor WordPress have an environment for developers using programming languages, WebApps is being introduced to provide that functionality in a more contemporary and secure environment.

Get help

As always, help with Web hosting is available through the UBIT Help Center. Submit a request for help online via the UBIT Help Center Online, call 716-645-3542, or stop by our locations in the Lockwood 2nd floor Cybrary (North Campus) and Health Sciences Library in Abbott Hall (South Campus).