Welcome to the Information Systems & Technology website

In Information Systems & Technology (IST) we strive to provide effective information systems, technology and services in support of learning, teaching, research and administrative needs.

On our site you'll find information on the IT services and resources available to students, faculty and staff; IST and campus-wide IT projects and initiatives; and information on our continuous efforts to provide an exceptional IT environment on campus.

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  1. May 13, 2021Quest is moving to Oracle Cloud

    What is happening? The University’s student information system Quest will move from its current on-premises environment to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The Oracle Cloud offering is pre-configured and tightly integrated with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, the foundation on which Quest is built, and comes with Oracle’s database software Cloud Manager, a tool that enables optimization of resources, streamlines processes, and improves performance.

    Why is this change being made? Oracle's next-generation cloud infrastructure will provide a modern, high-performance environment for our Quest system. Leveraging real-time data analytics, the student information system team will be able to quickly scale development and production environments to meet demand. This leading-edge technology will ensure the Quest support team is in the best position to respond to feature and functionality requests, better supporting and enhancing your overall experience. Visit the project web page to view a full list of benefits.

    How will this change impact me?

    • There will be no change to visual elements within Quest, or in how students and/or employees interact with the system. 
    • This work will impact Quest's infrastructure only (i.e., work will be completed "behind the scenes").
    • Once Quest has been moved to the Oracle Cloud environment, hosting of Quest data will move from the University's on-premises data centres to Oracle Cloud's secure Canadian data centres, hosted in Toronto and Montreal. 

    How secure is Oracle Cloud? The continued privacy and integrity of Quest student information is and will continue to be the project's top priority. A security review and two privacy information risk assessments have been completed and no issues or risks were identified.

    This project will take a security by design approach, where Security Information Services will participate throughout the duration of the project, helping to design and review system configurations, conduct regular security assessments, and review and measure risks against the NIST-800-171 security standard. Summaries of this work will be made available on the project site.

    Learn more

    You are encouraged to visit the Quest moving to Oracle Cloud project page to learn more about this work, view the privacy and security assessment documents, see the project timeline, and project FAQs.

  2. May 10, 2021Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) now available for students

    What is happening? Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), a Microsoft Azure-based system for virtualizing operating systems and applications, is now available for students to use for lab computers and software.

    What is Windows Virtual Desktop used for? Windows Virtual Desktop is a Microsoft cloud-based solution that gives users remote access to desktops and applications. WVD can be used as an alternative to, or augmentation of, physical computer labs.

    How do users access Windows Virtual Desktop? Students that have been given access to a department’s virtual lab can access Windows Virtual Desktop by logging in to www.wvd.uwaterloo.ca

    How do I set up a Windows Virtual Desktop environment? IT support staff can enable Windows Virtual Desktop for their department or faculty by submitting a request to rt@uwaterloo.ca. Visit the Windows Virtual Desktop service page for more information.

    Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.

  3. May 3, 2021Inbound mail record to be updated - May 15

    What is happening? The University’s inbound mail record will be updated to route email sent to uwaterloo.ca addresses through the Cisco Cloud servers.

    • Current mail delivery path: Internet (i.e., external individual/organization) > Mailservices > Cisco Cloud servers > Office 365/Exchange
    • Planned mail delivery path: Internet > Cisco Cloud servers > Office 365/Exchange/Mailservices

    When will this change take place? Saturday, May 15 between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.

    What is the impact? No end-user impact is expected.

    Note: If desired, individuals may test unique mail delivery configurations following the above maintenance window.

    Questions or concerns? Please submit to the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca.

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  1. May 14, 2021Presentation Friday: Improving the way we work with Jira Service Management

    Improving the way we work with Jira Service Management

    In 2013 our software development team in IST began using Jira to help coordinate their work. Since then, usage of the Jira portfolio and project management (PPM) and Confluence knowledgebase (KB) software has grown organically over time, expanding from a 10-user to 2000-user license, and transitioning from a tool that we use internally to a service we offer campus wide. Groups in all faculties, and most academic support units rely on these services to manage projects and coordinate tasks, publish KBs and share documentation. In 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we piloted Jira Service Desk, the Atlassian issue tracking system, with the dream of a full-fledged IT service management system with native integration into our KB and PPM tool, to enhance our own client service and improve efficiencies in UW’s central IT department but also to provide a standardized, integrated toolset to our colleagues across campus. We are now in the process of migrating to Jira from Request Tracker (RT), as well as helping 500+ campus partners. This presentation will outline how we got here, lessons learned, and what is planned over the next year.

    Speaker Bios

    Andrew McAlorum

    Andrew is the Director of Client Services in Information Systems & Technology. He previously served as the Manager of Web Development in IST and Head of Digital Initiatives in the Library, and has held roles at the University of Toronto and York University. As Director of Client Services, Andrew provides leadership and direction for the services offered by IST’s Service Desks, Customer Relations & Support, and the Project Management Office. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors from Queen’s University and a Master of Information Studies from University of Toronto.

    Matthew Harford

    Matthew Harford is the Manager for the IST Service Desk team. He has been working on campus since 2009, initially as student staff. When he is not helping people at work, he likes to spend his time woodworking and enjoying the outdoors.

    This seminar will be recorded. A link will be added to the PDAG website.

    Join online

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