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Stanford Sites is Moving to the Cloud

Monday, May 21, 2018

An exciting change is coming soon for website owners across campus who use Stanford Sites. Over the next few months, all Stanford Sites websites (approximately 2,400) will be moved to the cloud, offering owners and website visitors a multitude of benefits including faster loading time, integration with Stanford IAM (Identity and Access Management) infrastructure (SAML 2.0), and on-demand scalability and availability.

The new cloud environment will continue to comply with Stanford's Minimum Security Standards, offering significant time and cost savings for website owners, as University IT (UIT) centrally manages the platform and application security.

This change is led by Stanford Web Services (SWS) and UIT’s Administrative Systems teams and is part of UIT’s Cloud Transformation Program, which focuses on adopting cloud technology solutions that are more scalable, cost-efficient, and resilient than current on-premise solutions.

“Stanford’s website owners are building sophisticated, beautiful, and data-driven websites and need their hosting to offer high availability, faster performance, and the ability to scale to meet demand,” said Sara Worrell-Berg, director of SWS. “UIT is moving the Stanford Sites service to the cloud, so we can meet those needs now and be better positioned to expand with new web services in the future.”

Timeline and details about migration to the cloud

The Stanford Sites website migrations will happen in three phases over the course of the upcoming summer and fall quarters. The Stanford Sites Cloud Migration Team will move group and department websites first, followed by individual faculty, student, and staff websites. Websites using the Stanford Sites Jumpstart service and those custom-built by Stanford Web Services will be migrated in the final phase.

The impact of the migration to website owners and visitors is expected to be minimal. During each website’s migration — which is expected to take about a day — website owners will not be able to make changes to their websites. Website visitors will not experience any disruption or downtime during the migration.

Migrated websites will have the same content, and website owner and editor permissions will remain intact.

If you are an owner of a group or department website on the Stanford Sites platform, you’ll receive an email in early June with more information. In the meantime, visit the What to Expect webpage for more details.

More enhancements to come

Once the migrations are complete, the SWS team will turn its focus to developing new and improved tools for individuals, groups, and departments to create and manage websites in the cloud.

Using Drupal 8, SWS will offer more “out-of-the-box” options that allow anyone who needs a website to quickly spin up a Stanford-branded website with easier-to-use content management interfaces and compliance with Stanford’s accessibility, security, and data risk policies.

Learn more

Visit the following webpages to learn about Stanford Sites and UIT’s vision for cloud services:

Contact the Stanford Sites Cloud Migration Team if you have questions about the cloud migration and how it affects you.

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