News archive - January 2020

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and license server patch deployment - January 19

What is happening? Due to the latest vulnerabilities for Windows server 2012R2 and later, the license and VDI servers need to be patched.

When is this happening? Sunday, January 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Exchange server maintenance: January 26 - February 7

What is happening? Exchange servers are being removed from service for maintenance/updates. Individual servers will be taken out of service between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. each night throughout the maintenance period. 

When is it happening? Sunday, January 26 to Friday, February 7 - between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. each night.

Why is it happening? To keep the software current with vendor-provided updates.

Who will it impact? Users that are actively connected to a server when it is removed for maintenance may be prompted to enter their username and password. Outlook may also alert about being redirected to autodiscover.uwaterloo.ca. This is normal behavior and the user should click 'Allow' when this happens. No other impact is anticipated as the remaining servers will continue to carry out email and calendar functions.

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

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Deprecating Shibboleth authentication service – Effective immediately

What is happening? Effective immediately, Shibboleth SAML identity provider, one of the University’s application authentication tools, will no longer be offered for use with new systems/applications. The Shibboleth service will be discontinued completely on July 1, 2021.

Why is this happening? Information Systems & Technology (IST) is standardizing on ADFS for single sign-on.

What is the impact? Any application that is currently configured to use Shibboleth will be permitted to continue using it. New applications requiring authentication will be directed to use Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

Note: As July 1, 2021 approaches, IST will work with application admins to migrate their applications from Shibboleth. 

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Skype Server Patching - January 15-22

What is happening? Patches will be applied to the Skype server in order to upgrade to the latest release. 
 
When is this happening? Patches will be applied between Wednesday, January 15 and Wednesday January 22. The following will take place to minimize user impact: 

  • Wednesday, January 15 at 10:00 p.m.
    • Skype MC user pool will be failed over to EC2 user pool.
  • Friday, January 17 at 10:00 p.m.
    • Skype MC pool will be brought back into service. Existing MC users will be failed back to the MC pool.
  • Monday, January 20 at 10:00 p.m.
    • Skype EC2 user pool will be failed over to the MC user pool.
  • Wednesday, January 22 at 10:00 p.m.
    • Skype EC2 pool will be brought back into service. Existing EC2 users will be failed back to the EC2 pool.

Note: The failover process takes approximately 30 minutes. 


What is the impact to users? Users will disconnect and reconnect for each of the instances above, however active calls should be unaffected. 
 
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Adobe Flash Player end-of-life - December 31 2020

A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST) and the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL)

On December 31, 2020, Adobe will be discontinuing support for Flash Player; most web browsers will disable and block Flash before this date. University of Waterloo materials using Flash must be converted to other technology before that time.

The Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) offers a conversion service for training materials that have been authored in Flash to any University of Waterloo department. This service includes: 

  • Evaluating current Flash-based training materials
  • Advising on AODA/accessibility compliance and mobile use
  • Conducting the conversion 
  • Performing quality and consistency checks

CEL has developed a considerable amount of expertise in this area as the department has been converting online course materials away from Flash since Fall 2017.

A fee will apply for this service and a detailed estimate will be provided to interested departments. Please contact Senior Production Manager, Matt Justice (matt.justice@uwaterloo.ca) to discuss how CEL can assist.

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