Wintery Wednesday

Apart from a few flurries we were snow-free today. Well, apart from all the stuff still on the pavements.

Travel seemed back to normal for people near major transport/roads but it was very quiet early on. With some schools closed again and some people still unable to get in there was demand on our remote desktop service once more.

I’m told that there were around  750 logins yesterday, lasting an average of an hour and forty minutes. We probably might have had more if we’d been able to get the full capacity available earlier in the day.

As of around 14:30 today we’ve had 450 logins, and thanks to all the work of the team in ITI we seemed to be able to cope with the demand this time. Partly this is because we simply put more resources into the service, to both compensate for the services down as part of the data centre moves, and part to simply cope with demand. Whilst it was unplanned and unexpected, we were able to respond pretty quickly to keep people working. Once we’ve got the data centre move over with, we should be able to smoothly switch over to supporting larger numbers of staff in the event of problems such as a major incident or something like the impact of the weather yesterday.

I wonder how many people really think about that remote desktop service, or whether people just expect it to be there. It is increasingly used  and I’m told that we usually have 2000+ logins per week and, since November, over 1300 individual staff users have used the new 2009/2010 service at least once. That’s a lot of users able to access almost all their University applications and data securely, quickly and from wherever they are in the world on whatever PC.

Work progressed on the data centre move, and Mark Lee is confidently forecasting – weather permitting – that we should have all the important services in and operational by the end of the week. There will still be some work to do but that will be less critical and we’ll be able to do that in the next week or so without risk of disruption once the exams get underway.

Anyway, aside from that I had an impromptu visit from Cliff Allan, the new Deputy Vice Chancellor, being shown around by Alex Pettifer. Cliff was interested in the City data centre so I asked Nik Sellars to give them a quick tour.

And then onto another meeting to talk about accommodation – and the pressure on space to enable the University to create more teaching space. Looks like there will be some challenging thinking to be done in the next couple of months in terms of staff space in City.

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