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ITSS Managed WordPress Service

 

9/1/14 - NOTE: Wordpress has been replaced by Drupal as the supported content management system for UMD so no new WordPress instances will be created.

 

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) powered by PHP and MySQL. It features a publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability, including a plug-in architecture and a template system.

ITSS offers a common good virtual server service that provides

  1. Virtual server provision, support, maintenance, security, patching, monitoring, backup, and restoration maintained and managed by ITSS systems administrators, and
  2. Customer owned WordPress applications for campus departments and business units.

This service offering is available for campus departments and groups with simple WordPress needs that are self-supported by the customer; however, the customer may contract for assistance from ITSS staff on a charge back basis for time. Application support may be requested by calling the ITSS Help Desk (8847), who will establish a work ticket for any requests.

Customers in campus departments and business units retain the responsibility for the application administration and customer support for their users. This service is generally appropriate for projects that have no restricted, private, credit card, or HIPPA data, modest storage requirements, and no complex design issues.

The managed service will reduce the burden of server administration work for users and provide control within a supported technical environment. ITSS costs are kept low by using automated processes and sharing the infrastructure with other WordPress instances. Generally, there is no charge to the customer using this service. ITSS will only charge for our support if you request our help with modifying the WordPress application, or if your managed server instance impacts other customers' instances and we need to correct a problem. Your managed server instance support will continue until it is mutually agreed that an application is no longer needed or until funding is eliminated.

A department faculty member or administrator is required to sponsor the computer account for managed services.

Service Summary

The managed WordPress service provided by ITSS includes:

Service Guidelines

Service guidelines for all managed WordPress instances include:

Expectations for Developers

Development of new application instances must be negotiated with ITSS in order to determine whether they can be done at no charge by ITSS staff. If not, ITSS will provide an estimate for the development work to be done by ITSS staff.

There will be developers from multiple disciplines using these services, and all must use appropriate development and testing strategies.

Units with access to these servers may employ student developers. All development by students will be reviewed and tested by the application owner, who oversees their work.

Application owners should anticipate upgrading the application version approximately every two years.

Help Desk Response by ITSS

Calls for assistance regarding the servers or applications in this service offering will go to the ITSS Help Desk. During regular work hours, a major problem, such as a network or server outage, reported through the Help Desk will have a response time of 30 minutes or less. Minor problems reported through the Help Desk will be addressed in the normal ITSS workflow process.

Emergency response items will be escalated. ITSS recognizes that some of these applications provide important services for the respective application owner, so that any problems affecting service must be addressed promptly.

Regular business hours: ITSS coverage is available from 8 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday by calling the ITSS Help Desk at 726-8847. The ITSS Help Desk is open for extended hours (until 9 pm Monday through Thursday) even though most regular staff may not be available. After-hours assistance can be requested at the Help Desk, although there may be some time delay in tracking down regular staff to come. Help Desk hours are available here: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/techcenter/

Escalation Process

The generic workday escalation process is to report the problem to the Help Desk as instructed above. ITSS has an escalation process that monitors the Help Desk task list, and sends emails to teams, the manager of the area, and eventually all managers and the director.

Application owners are encouraged to call an ITSS manager or director in the event that a major problem is not addressed in a timely way, including during evenings or weekends.

For more information

For more information on the managed WordPress services or other development support services offered by the ITSS, please contact either the ITSS TechCenter Helpdesk at itsshelp@d.umn.edu, or the ITSS Enterprise Team at esteam@d.umn.edu.

rev: 9/17 ajm