ITECS provides hosted services for web sites developed by College of Engineering faculty, staff and students. ITECS hosts college sites free of charge, but only under the hosted domains (virtual hosts, or vhosts) it supports. ITECS hosts sites for:
- college and departments (including centers, institutes, labs, and other college units)
- administrative units
- student organizations
- individuals (faculty, staff, students)
- .org sites
"Virtual hosting" is the method ITECS uses to host multiple domain names on the same web server. These vhosts resolve to the same IP address but pull content from individual web lockers in AFS that are mapped to their domain names. ITECS runs multiple web servers hosting multiple vhosts, but vhosting is not an unlimited service. Like any resource-sharing device, web servers must be monitored, balanced, and upgraded to meet the demands that the vhosts place on them.
All college web sites have configured file space in AFS, called a web locker, mapped to a short URL. Each web locker has the following:
- Owner, person responsible for the locker's contents, who manages access, quota, and other settings through an easy-to-use locker portal.
- Permission groups of people with access to the web locker.
- Path to location of the web locker in the AFS file system (/afs/eos/engrwww/sites/).
- URL, a short web address associated with the web locker.
- PHP enabled.
- MySQL database, if requested.
Tools and Infrastructure
An open-source "LAMP" architecture underpins all web services in the college:
- Linux operating system
- Apache web server
- MySQL database management system (or database server)
- PHP scripting/programming language
Hosted sites are also configured for search and statistics tools and robust security. PHP MySQL is the scripting language/database that ITECS supports, with a webtest server for testing scripts and staging sites before live delivery. All site owners can request a MySQL database, and PHP runs in all sites with some restrictions.
Content and Software
ITECS does not develop content for college web sites--except for the ITECS and Eos computing sites--but it provides software, tools, and assistance to help people with content creation and maintenance.
COE web services extend and add to NCSU web resources, such as WRAP web-based authentication and course web sites. It does not duplicate them. The college web infrastructure is designed to scale to a large number of users and employ cost-effective technologies, such as those from the open-source community.