Author Archives: Jim Stuart

Transitioning IT services to the cloud

We are pleased to announce a change we are making to Middlebury’s email and calendar service. After years of running these applications on our own infrastructure, we are moving them to the cloud—specifically to Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of services.

There are several benefits to this move:

  • Stronger security. Microsoft is able to devote more resources to security than we ever could. As hackers become increasingly sophisticated, this has never been more important. Microsoft’s cloud-based services include an important second level of security that recognizes “trusted” devices, which can include mobile devices or a home computer. This means that even if someone learned your user name or password, they still would need a special code to access your account from a device other than your own.  Middlebury users will not be compelled at the outset to use this service, though we think it will be attractive to many people and we will be encouraging and supporting its use going forward once the transition to Microsoft’s cloud-based email and calendar service is complete.
  • Better and faster access. Putting data in the cloud will allow us to automatically synchronize data across devices and provide better and faster access regardless of your location.
  • Increased storage. Microsoft’s scale allows it to provide greater storage capacity at less cost. This means we will be able to back up data on a nearly real-time basis. And you no longer will need to worry about size of your email archive.

We don’t anticipate any significant disruption in services when we make the change. If you use Outlook, the switch will happen overnight, and your mailbox and calendar will look exactly as they did the previous day once you restart your computer.  In some cases, it has been necessary to replace your outlook profile, but if that is necessary, we’ll assist you.  The webmail site is very similar to what you are using today, but there are slight differences consistent with a new version.  For those employees who use an email client other than Outlook or webmail, we will provide instructions on how to adjust your account settings.

The process of transitioning mailboxes and calendars to the Microsoft cloud service will begin next week and continue through September, with faculty and students transitioned before the start of the semester and members of administrative departments scheduled by department in batches with advanced notice and on premise support.  The schedule of moves is available here:

This fall we will begin a transition of content currently stored on Middfiles to the cloud. This change will bring with it many of the same benefits as those described above and in addition facilitate collaboration – allowing you to share your data with colleagues at Middlebury and elsewhere with ease. We’ll keep you posted as we get closer to that move.

We are excited to deliver these significant improvements to the services we provide to the community. Once complete, we are confident they will result in better service with a reduction in cost and risk. If you have any questions, please contact our helpdesk at

Best regards,

The Middlebury ITS Team

planned maintenance work

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, Aug 23th  from 6 am – 10 am we have the following activity scheduled:

  • The network switches will be reconfigured in Stewart Hall to support the new wireless access points.  Network services for Stewart will be offline beginning at 8:00am and back up by 10:00 am.

Also, Monday, Aug 24, at 9:00am, we will relocate the network link from the Middlebury main campus to Bread Loaf from the Apple Cellar to the Inn.  This will cause a brief network outage at Bread Load and the Snow Bowl.  This work has been coordinated and approved by key stakeholders at Bread Loaf.

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

Systems and Network maintenance this Sunday morning

During our maintenance window this Sunday morning between 6 and 10 am we have the following actives planned:

We will be upgrading the Middlebury and Bread Loaf campus wireless network.  This will result in each wireless access point on both of these campuses rebooting, as a result we expect a less than 10 minute interruption of wireless services throughout both campuses, likely between 6:30 and 8:00 am.

We will upgrading the our VPN (virtual private network) appliance that provides service to the JunOs Pulse VPN client.  Between 6:30 and 8:00 am there will be a less than 30 minute service interruption of off-campus VPN access to Middlebury’s network.

We will be upgrading our MiddCloud file serving environment that includes MiddFiles and other network file shares generally used by the Science departments.  Between 7:00 and 8:00 am we expect a less than 10 minute service interruption of MiddCloud.

We appreciate your patience as we strive to keep our systems and network operating optimally.

Sunday morning maintenance

This Sunday morning during our established maintenance window between 6 and 10 am we will be performing the following actives:

  • We will be upgrading network components in our Internet path and making adjustments to our security devices (firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems).  There will be several intermittent Internet service interruptions lasting about a few minutes mostly during the 7 to 9 am time frame.
  • We will be upgrading MiddCloud that includes MiddFiles and several other network file shares, there will be approximately a 15 minute service interruption between 7 and 9 am.

We appreciate your patience as we strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

Introduction to the Junos Pulse VPN client

We’re delighted to formally announce a significant enhancement to the College’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers a faster and more convenient way to establish a connection from off-campus to Middlebury’s network.  The Junos Pulse client is available for a wide variety of computers and mobile devices that include: Macintosh, Windows, iOS (iphones, ipads), and Android.

For Macintosh and Windows platforms, the Junos Pulse client may be downloaded from Middfiles at: – to access this download site you will be prompted to enter your Middlebury Network username and password, this site is accessible from off-campus without first establishing a VPN connection.

A special note for Windows 8 users.  Do not install the Junos Pulse client for Windows 7 on your Windows 8 computer, rather if you’re running Windows 8.0 upgrade to Windows 8.1 and the use the built-in VPN tool to configure the Junos Pulse client that is embedded within Windows 8.1.  Please follow these instructions for Windows 8.1 computers:

For iOS (iphones, ipads) devices, please visit the Apple store and search for junos pulse.

For Android devices, please visit the Google play store and search for junos pulse.

Details on how to install and configure Junos Pulse are available here:

While you will be able to continue to establish a VPN connection the Middlebury’s network from off-campus using the Junos “NetConnect” client or by visiting for the next several weeks, we strongly encourage you to transition to the Junos Pulse client.  Indeed, on or about April 30th, 2014, we will redirect the current login page at that uses the Junos “NetConnect” client to that contains our instructions on how to use the Junos Pulse client instead.  We have received a number of positive comments from those who have already transitioned to using the Junos Pulse client.

As always, we welcome your feedback and are ready to assist you with this transition; if you run into trouble or have questions, please open an LIS help desk ticket, email us at or give us a call at the helpdesk X2200.

Sunday morning maintenance

This Sunday morning between 7 and 11 am we will be upgrading our printing tracking solution Papercut to v14.1. Upgrading the server side components will take place first, this phase is expected to be completed by about 9 am.  This will then be followed by site visits to the public printing release stations throughout the campus to complete the upgrade.

Each of the following servers will be off-line for about 10 minutes, each between 7 and 9 am or so, they include:

  • Papercut
  • Willow
  • Spruce
  • Bombay
  • Beech
  • Walnut

We also expect about 30 minutes of interruption to the “web print” service during this period.

Printed jobs will be queued up and automatically resubmitted during the service interruptions to the print servers.

There are several new features and fixes to known problems available in this release, additional details are available here:

Sunday morning maintenance

This Sunday morning between 7 and 10 am we will be performing some fine-tuning of our Internet gateway routers and firewalls that will include some Internet routing prioritization and optimization as well as some firewall configuration changes.  We do not expect any noticeable interruptions of services but are performing this during our maintenance window as a precaution.

Sunday morning maintenace

We have two maintenance actives this Sunday morning.

Between 8 and 9 am we will be moving our on-line guest registration web application ( to a new server.  We do not anticipate a noticeable interruption of service.

Between 10 and 10:30 am we will be upgrading the central authentication service (CAS) component of Moodle, we expect a less than 5 minute service interruption.

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our system functioning optimally.