On Wednesday October 20, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, UW Information Technology will begin upgrading the UW Shared Web Hosting servers that host University websites and upgrading PHP to version 7.4.24. This upgrade will enable website owners/administrators who use content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, and collaboration and documentation platforms like MediaWiki, to take advantage of significant performance improvements.
Additionally, over the next several weeks UW Information Technology will be migrating database servers to a new infrastructure with the most current version of MySQL, which will provide enhanced security and improved speed and performance.
Will this upgrade affect your website?
If you do not use a database server, then the database server portion of this upgrade will not impact your website. And if you don’t use a content management system, documentation platform or PHP programming script, then this upgrade will not affect your website.
How will this PHP upgrade and server upgrade and migration affect your website?
Please review the below for information and action items to take before October 20, 2021, on PHP 7.4.24, as well as information on the potential effects of the server upgrade and migration on your website.
- Current versions of popular web applications like WordPress and Drupal, fully support PHP 7.4.24. Note that these and newer versions of these all support PHP 7.4.24: WordPress 4.9+, Drupal 7.71+, and MediaWiki 1.35+.
- If the website does not have the current version of WordPress and Drupal, then the owner/administrator may want to test PHP 7.4.24 on the website in our test environment before October 20, 2021.
- We recommend you review the list of changes to functions in PHP 7.4.24 and how to access the test environment.
- If you are unfamiliar with working with PHP script and a test environment, then UW Information Technology recommends that you consult with your local IT or your local web developer for support. (If your area does not have either of these positions, you can reach out to Creative Communications to inquire about hiring web development support).
Server upgrade and migration
All MySQL servers will be migrated to the new infrastructure and be on version 5.6.39 to greatly enhance the security of servers. MySQL is backwards compatible, so there should be no impact to websites.
- This migration work will be done in batches.
- Owners and administrators of websites hosted on UW Shared Web Hosting infrastructure will receive a message before their server is migrated to alert them to the date of the work, the downtime expected, and that the connection may change.
- Short downtime. The migration will happen off-hours, and for most databases, the downtime will only be several minutes; it could be up to 30 minutes for large databases. Owners/administrators will be notified if there was a difficulty with the migration.
- Connection to the database server may change. As part of this change, all owners and administrators will be provided with a local home domain for their database server. For example, if an owner or administrator currently accesses their database server by connecting to ovid01.u.washington.edu, ovid02.u.washington.edu, or ovid03.u.washington.edu, they will need to begin connecting to <netid>.ovid.u.washington.edu. If they already connect to your local home server, nothing will change.
If you have questions about this planned database migration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and reference UW Web Hosting Upgrade.
Problems post upgrade?
Please take a look at the following link for more information: October 2021 Web Server Upgrade