Storing Files on Your Campus through WebDAV

Requirements

On-campus file storage requires that your campus configure its firewall so it allows requests:

  • Via port 443, 444, 4443 or 8443
  • From the following Faculty Success IP addresses:
    • 13.56.61.123
    • 34.230.162.194
    • 35.168.130.197
    • 204.197.211.68
    • 204.197.217.164
  • To a server that:
    • Runs WebDAV over SSL 

    Note: WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) is a protocol that enables users to manage files on remote servers. You must have WebDAV enabled in order to implement Mirrored Files.

    • Accepts logins using Basic Authentication
    • Has sufficient storage capacity on this server to handle all the files your users import

Note: You may need to configure additional file and directory permissions based on your desired uses for the files stored on that server. For example, backup software may require specific permissions to access your files; publicly available files may require anonymous read-only access.

Your campus will also need to create an account on that server that has full read, write, delete and list access to the account’s root directory for Faculty Success to use.

Warning: Users can access the files stored using Mirrored Files can through Faculty Success, but they are stored locally on your campus servers and managed by your campus’s technical staff. Your campus should back up these files regularly. In addition, files that are stored by Faculty Success should be managed exclusively through Faculty Success.

Implementation Details

Once they have completed the required steps, your technical staff will need to provide you the following technical details for the file storage server:

  • The server’s full domain name or IP address
  • A directory to store files within

Note: Please do not use the root directory. Also, note that the path chosen must be instrument-specific. If you are implementing Mirrored Files for multiple data collection instruments, you will need to create a unique, non-nested directory for each instrument.

  • A username and password for the account the Faculty Success server is to use
  • The SSL certificate for your server – an X.509 certificate chain, encoded as ASN.1 DER if using a campus certificate authority or self-signed certificate
  • If you are setting up Mirrored Files for multiple instances, be sure to note which instances should use the WebDAV account.

Once you have received this information, and are ready to implement Mirrored Files, submit a General work request with the above information.

Warning: You should submit the password for the account Faculty Success should use to access your server in an attachment to the work request, rather than in the work request note itself. As attachments to work requests are never included in a notification email, including passwords and other sensitive details in an attachment will ensure these always remain within the secure Work Requests utility.

Server Certificates

As a security measure, Faculty Success require a SSL certificate to put WebDAV in place. This requirement ensures that connections made are to the appropriate server. Faculty Success has a repository of trusted certificates and, thus, Faculty Success will not connect to a server unless that certificate is on the list of trusted servers.

Faculty Success supports the following certificate authorities, in order of preference:

  1. Any certificate authority trusted by the Mozilla project
  2. A campus certificate authority
  3. A self-signed certificate

Note: Any certificate issued must have the Hostname or IP address that Faculty Success is using to find and connect to your server listed as the hostname or an alternate name on the certificate. Additionally, options 2 and 3, above, require your Faculty Success Administrator to perform ongoing work. You must provide the full chain of X.509 certificates in ASN.1 DER format to connect to your WebDAV server, and notify Faculty Success when any of the certificates in the chain are renewed or replaced.

Server Space

In determining the amount of server space your campus should allocate to Mirrored Files, we recommend that you consider a number of factors:

  • The number of users that will be storing files to the server
  • The types of files that will be stored

Note: Audio, video, and image files may require more storage space. Any file type restrictions you chose to implement will apply to Mirrored Files as well.

  • The size of the files that will be stored
  • The number of files each user will store
  • When users will be storing files

These factors will help you determine how much space you should provide for the first year. After the first year has passed, Faculty Success suggests that you reevaluate your file storage needs and adjust accordingly.

As a very general rule of thumb, you will likely not need more than several gigabytes of space for the first year.

If you are uncertain of how much space to allocate, err on the side of caution and allocate more space than you suspect is necessary.

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