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Network Services

 

Network Services

 Welcome to the Network Services section of ISS 

Welcome to the Network Services section of ISS.

Network services are responsible for:

1. Network design 2. Implementation 3. Maintenance Issues throughout the campus.

 Back up and recovery 

Back up and recovery

All servers and network drives are backed up each night by ISS.  The data is copied to a disk-based backup system (ExaGrid), using Veritas Netbackup. 

These backups are then duplicated to another ExaGrid backup server which is hosted in HEAnet’s data centre in Parkwest.   Therefore in the event of a major disaster destroying our two server rooms in DCU, we would be able to recover all data to the previous night.

The EX5000 servers use a technology called Deduplication and Replication.

Recovery

Data is retained for the following periods:

  • Daily backups (Monday to Thursday), are retained for two weeks
  • Weekly backups (Fri or Sat or Sun) are retained for five weeks
  • Monthly backups (every fifth weekend) are retained for six months

If files are lost or corrupted, the sooner we are informed, the better the chances of restoring.  If it is discovered within two weeks, we can restore to the previous night’s backup.  Any longer than that, we can only restore from the previous weekend or previous month, depending on the time that has elapsed.

Requests for Restores

The following information is required by ISS in order to restore files.

  • The name of the server where the files were stored, and the full name of the directory/folder which contained the files.
    eg. L:\Files\Common files
    To find your directory go to My Computer click on required network drive and again go to your folder.
    Then put your cursor on the top bar and press control button and A (select), next control button and C (copy) then control button and V (paste).
  • The date when the files were last known to exist, before they were deleted or corrupted.
 Domain hosting 

Domains and Hosting

All DCU staff members and students are given web space and a web address, through Google sites 

Below are the different options available to you.

 External Domain and External Hosting

If you require a unique domain name not associated with DCU. (Please talk to the website owner the Communications and Marketing department, who will advise) 
e.g. www.conference2008.org, or www.fundraiser.net
The best option is to use a hosting company who can also sell you a domain name.
For a fee, usually per anum, they can provide

  • Online purchase of required domain name
  • A hosting account for your site which can be managed through a web browser
  • Email addresses for your domain. e.g. info@conference2008.org
  • Automatic installers making it easy to set up blogs, picture galleries etc.
  • Automatic creation of mysql databases for web applications
  • The latest open source hosting software - php/apache/mysql

Please note that '.ie' domains are 4/5 times more expensive than '.com', '.net', '.org' and also may take longer to set up and may require supporting documentation.

There is a list of domain resellers on the IEDR's website. Any of these resellers can provide the services listed above. One that we can recommend and have experience with is Blacknight.ie

Click here for the list of Domain Resellers

External Domain and DCU Hosting

This is the scenario where you would like a unique domain name (e.g. conference2008.org) but would like DCU to host the website on our servers. This is the most compicated setup of the three options.
The required steps are:

  • Make an application to DCU executive. See DCU Internet Domain Naming Conventions Policy
  • On approval from executive request ISS to host the DNS zone for your domain
  • ISS set up DNS zone on name servers ns1-ext.dcu.ie and ns2-ext.dcu.ie. You will need this information for the next step.
  • Once DNS zone is setup by ISS purchase your domain from an approved reseller. Provide the 2 name servers above when doing this.
  • Request web account from ISS to upload your site

This option will only provide ftp access, no email accounts, and no automatic installers. Approval by executive can take some time.

 Filesender - Large files sender 

Filesender

Filesender

The HEANet provide a service called FileSender, which will allow you to upload large files to their servers, and then provide a download link via e-mail to you intended recipient. It also allows us to provide a ‘voucher’ to external users, allowing them to upload a file that you can then access. These files have an expiry date set on them after which they are no longer available on the server, to prevent the service being used as a storage repository.

To use FileSender to send a file

1. Browse to https://filesender.heanet.ie

Filesender Instructions

2. Click logon, and choose Dublin City University as your home organisation

Filesender Instructions

3. This will redirect you to the DCU federated access page – enter your username and password

Filesender Instructions

4. Once you authenticated, you’ll be returned to the FileSender web page

Filesender Instructions

 5. Enter the details required:

  • Recipient(s) e-mail address
  • Subject
  • Message
  • Expiry Date

6. Click on Browse to upload a file, select the local file you wish to transfer

7. Click on Send, this will upload the file to Heanet and then e-mail your recipient(s) with a link to download the file

8. You’ll receive delivery reports as your recipient(s) access and download the file

To create a voucher to allow external users send you files through FileSender

1. Log on and authenticate as above

2. Click on Vouchers in the menu bar

3. Enter the recipient and the expiry date of the voucher, and click send voucher

4. This will e-mail the recipient a voucher that they can click, which will log them into FileSender

5. The recipient can then follow the same steps above to upload a file to FileSender, with you as the recipient

6. This voucher can only be used once, for one file

To manage your files/vouchers through FileSender

1. Log on and authenticate as above

2. In the menu bar, click on My Files to view the files you’ve uploaded

3. From here you can remove the file, resend the e-mail to the original recipient or forward the download link to new recipients

4. Click on Vouchers to view the vouchers you’ve send. From here you can revoke vouchers that have not been used yet

 Firewall ports 

Firewall Ports

The University's external Internet Firewall policy is to deny all external Internet traffic to the University's network unless explicitly permitted. Access and service restrictions may be enforced by IP address and/or port number Proxy services may be used in conjunction with the firewall to restrict usage to authenticated individuals. This policy is designed to protect University network users from attacks launched from the Internet.

In certain cases an individual may require access to certain services or a software application that uses ports normally blocked by both the firewall and proxy server.

If you have a requirement for certain ports to be opened to allow you to access a service or use a software application please contact the Service Desk as detailed below stating the service or application you wish to use and the ports you require to be opened.

Please log your request to https://iss.servicedesk.dcu.ie

However, it should be noted that we will consider this request in the context of potential threats and risks and in line with user compliance with University security policies.

Please see the Policies section for details.

 LDAP - Light Directory Access Protocol 

LDAP - Light Directory Access Protocol

DCU ISS department maintain a directory which contains an entry for each DCU staff member or student. LDAP (Light Directory Access Protocol) is the application which manages the updating and querying of this directory.

Each person's entry contains a login username and password, and also holds information such as what department/course they belong to, what objects (such as network drives, folders, printers etc) they have access to, etc.

Access to most of DCU's computer resources and servers is controlled by this LDAP directory. For example, when a person logs onto the DCU network, or makes a connection to a server such as staff.dcu.ie or student.dcu.ie, the login username and password they supply is authenticated to the central directory using LDAP.

This provides a single point of sign-on for the majority of ISS services. There is no need to maintain separate passwords for different servers.

 Network security 

Network Security

In DCU a network security policy exists to ensure secure and reliable network access and performance for the University community. Internet access to University resources and University access to Internet resources are both important elements in sustaining the University's primary missions of instruction, research, and public service. This policy is intended to protect the integrity of the University network and to mitigate the risks and losses associated with security threats to the University network and information systems. Please see the Policies section for details.

Firewall Ports

The University's external Internet firewall policy is to deny all external Internet traffic to the University's network unless explicitly permitted. Access and service restrictions may be enforced by IP address and/or port number. Proxy services may be used in conjunction with the firewall to restrict usage to authenticated individuals. This policy is designed to protect University network users from attacks launched from the Internet.

In certain cases an individual may require access to certain services or a software application that uses ports normally blocked by both the firewall and proxy server.

If you have a requirement for certain ports to be opened to allow you to access a service or use a software application please contact the Networks Group by email at the address below stating the service or application you wish to use and the ports you require to be opened.

Please log a ticket through https://iss.servicedesk.dcu.ie

However, it should be noted that we will consider this request in the context of potential threats and risks and in line with user compliance with University security policies. Please see the following page for details:
http://www.dcu.ie/iss/policies/index.shtml

 Virtual Private Network (VPN) 

DCU (SSL) VPN Service

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is simply a way to provide secure access to restricted systems from any computer. The DCU VPN service can provide access to DCU systems from home or abroad which are normally restricted to on-campus access only.

NOTE: VPN Access is not available from Apple iPad and iPhone devices, at present.

 VPN - About 

What is DCU VPN ?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is simply a way to provide secure access to restricted systems from any computer. The DCU VPN service can provide access to DCU systems from home or abroad which are normally restricted to on-campus access only.

NOTE: VPN Access is not available from Apple iPad and iPhone devices, at present.

What systems can I access with VPN ?

Some of the protected DCU systems you may wish to access with VPN are:

  • Anonymous marking
  • Finance
  • ITS

ICT Policies relevant to VPN use

Please note that the use of DCU computer resources are subject to the relevant Univsersity ICT Policies which can be found here. Particularly relevant to VPN use are

Please become familiar with these policies before using the VPN service.

How do I request VPN access?

All VPN access requests are to be requested via department or school head. The following information is required for efficient procesisng of each request.

  • Full name
  • Username
  • Department
  • Type of access [Contractor or Staff]

How do I connect through the VPN?

To connect to the DCU VPN, go to the webpage https://vpn.dcu.ie and 

login using your DCU network account username and password. 

Leave Group set as DCU. Once logged in, follow the instructions on how to download and install 

the VPN software with the DCU configuration. For instructions on 

installing  the VPN on a Windows and Mac please go to Configuration section of this page.

Please note, you will only need to install the software the first time you connect.

 VPN - Configuration 

A guide to VPN (Virtual Private Network) access off campus

Information Systems and Services offer a new Virtual Private Network access method to staff that hold a valid Novell/ActiveDirectory user account.

The Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client can be obtained from https://vpn.dcu.ie , Just log in with your NDS/AD username and password and click on Anyconnect from the menu.

Please contact the ISS Service Desk on ext 5007 or https://iss.servicedesk.dcu.ie to indicate services required, as this will determine access rights.

An example of services might be: Access to the Finance Systems, Access to ITS, Access to Novell etc. A requirement of access to the VPN service is that it must be sanctioned by a senior member of your Department, School or Unit. This service is also available to contractors who have been sanctioned for remote access facilities to DCU systems for maintenance purposes.

How do I install the new VPN client Cisco Anyconnect on Windows

    1. Click on the link https://vpn.dcu.ie
    2. Click continue to this website

vpn image 01

    1. You may be asked to enable Intranet settings. To do this click on the toolbar and click Enable Intranet Settings. And click Yes when prompted. If you're not asked to enable intranet settings the continue to point

vpn image 02

    1. Login using your normal DCU network account

vpn image 03

    1. Click continue when the Welcome to ISS VPN box appears
    2. Click AnyConnect on the left hand pane
    3. Click Start AnyConnect

vpn image 04

    1. Click Install when prompted
    2. When the install program tells you the connection is established you are finished installing

vpn image 05

    1. Reboot your computer
    2. When you your machine restarts you can start the VPN Client by Clicking the Start Menu, Programs, Cisco, Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client
    3. Login using your normal netware account and click Connect

vpn image 06

  1. Click Accept when the Welcome to ISS VPN box appears
  2. The connection is made when the VPN icon appears with the lock symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the screen

vpn image 07

How do I install the new VPN client Cisco Anyconnect on MacOSX

    1. Go to https://vpn.dcu.ie
    2. When the security certificate announcement comes up click OK

vpn image 08

    1. Login using your normal DCU network account

vpn image 09

    1. When the welcome screen appears clock continue

vpn image 10

    1. Click anyconnect in the left hand pane
    2. Click start anyconnect

vpn image 11

    1. When the accept certificate window pops up click Trust

vpn image 12

    1. If the hostname mismatch windows appears click run

vpn image 13

    1. The anyconnect client should install automatically. If it doesn't you can start a manual install by clicking on the Mac OSX link

vpn image 14

    1. Save the file vpnsetup.dmg

vpn image 15

    1. Go to the location you saved the file and run vpnsetup.dmg
    2. This will unpack a folder called vpn-x.x.x.xxx (where x is the version number) In that folder will be a file called vpn.pkg which should be run. Follow the installation instructions on screen
    3. The Anyconnect client can be found in the applications folder in a cisco folder on your hard disk
    4. Use your normal DCU network account and click connect

vpn image 16

  1. You have a successful VPN connection when you see this symbol in the top right hand of the screen

vpn image 17

 VPN - Troubleshooting 

DCU (SSL) VPN Service

I have been unable to install the VPN client ?

Please contact the ISS Service Desk if you have problems installing the client.

I have installed the VPN client but can not authenticate?

To authenticate to the VPN system you must provide your DCU network username and password. You can check that your details are correct by logging into your portal page. If you can login to your portal page then your account is active and your details are correct. Please contact the ISS Service Desk if you have problems authenticating.

My VPN client is working but I can not see my modules in the Anonymous Marking system?

Please contact your school secretary to ensure that you are associated with the correct modules in the module specifications system.

Common VPN client (cisco) Error Messages

Please see this page for an explanation of some common errors you may see.