McGill Guide: Virtual Hosting Service

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This is perhaps the most flexible and economical solution for research groups interested in developing their own systems or those groups interested in having FTP, Php, and SQL database (MySQL PostGreSQL) solutions. It offers:

300MB disk storage
Php
1 SQL Database

All websites must follow one of three set McGill URLs:
Yoursite.research.mcgill.ca
Yoursite.labs.mcgill.ca
Yoursite.conferences.mcgill.ca

As indicated this space is well suited for research activities over teaching and publication. The service is free to McGill faculty (apparently), not clear about students.

This is, essentially, a ‘web site’ space with all that implies. It is customizable, comes with no predetermined content or infrastructure in place other than the server configurations and software provided by NCS (Apache, Php, SQL DBs). Nevertheless it does have important limitations: no content management systems (due to server usage requirements and security restrictions), limited access to error logs, and limited configuration of apache modules (if at all).

Some issues to consider:
Unlike the other solutions listed above, this requires full web development for implementation – you need a webmaster.
Although any front ends constructed on the machine will be able to handle any users you may have (ie you can set it up so that non-mcgill users have access to web content), non-mcgill researchers who need access will have to obtain a mcgill login as per ITS’s current security protocol. This can impact development time and processes, especially for external RAs, students, and private partners.

Benefits:
Free – no costs involved.
Flexible environment for limited research development within the parameters set by NCS configurations.
Open to McGill researchers as well as groups.

Drawbacks:
Severe limitations on disk space.
No access to non-publicly accessible folders.
Limited access to server logs (students and postdoctoral fellows, for instance cannot see logs on the interface; faculty can).
No development support.
One database; no additional user support or creation / permissions.
Limited ability to configure apache via php ini_set. Requests for vhost.conf made through NCS only.
Content Management Systems (Drupal, Joomla, Django, WordPress) forbidden.
No development space.
Not suited for development of web applications or digital processes that require server configurations, installation of server-sided applications or modules.
URLs limited to preconfigured formats on McGill Domain.

Ideally for:
Small research or activity oriented websites for individuals or groups who want control over their web-presence, and those with limited to no funding.

Audiences:
Completely at the discretion of the users. Sites can be password protected to ensure privacy for research collaboration, or public facing.