University Network - Firewall Upgrade

06 October 2020

As some of you have experienced over the last few days, the University's core firewalls are struggling to cope with the significant increase in demand due to the blended on/off site approach to teaching and learning introduced this year.

As part of our infrastructure roadmap and security improvement programme, we purchased our firewall replacement service and had planned a phased implementation starting March 2020 over a six-month period. Due to the challenges of COVID-19 and the move off site, we were unable to complete as originally planned and had rescheduled for December 2020. In light of the issues experienced over recent days, we are now significantly accelerating the approach. We have the new infrastructure installed, configured, and ready to go.

The migration of services from old to new is a significant undertaking, which will take place over the next few weeks, ensuring we complete the Data Centre and core applications last; and also migrating the PC Teaching Centres out of hours, to minimise disruption.

We are starting the migration on Thursday 8th October and although the moves themselves should be seamless, all services should be considered at risk whilst the work is carried out.