Upcoming improvements to university website infrastructure

Dear UIC students, faculty and staff, 

Technology Solutions is pleased to announce that next month, we are modernizing UIC’s web infrastructure and performance with the help of Pantheon, a cloud-based website operations platform that will improve the stability and scalability of the university’s multisite network, known as Red. 

What is Red?

Red is the university’s multisite network, built on WordPress and used by the UIC community to easily create, build and manage our websites. Since the first Red site launched in November 2016, Red has grown to more than 500 live websites with another 228 in development (as of June 2022). On average, Red websites receive 1.5 million unique views per month. Incredibly, all of this has been accomplished with a single on-premise database and server under the guidance of our limited staff and resources.

When is this happening?

Technology Solutions will be migrating the Red multisite infrastructure from an on-campus data center to a cloud-based platform over the upcoming 2022 Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-5).

Why is this happening?

Due to its significant growth, the Red network is at risk of outgrowing its current infrastructure, and our legacy servers lack the ability to properly handle a large influx of traffic. Moreover, staff spends 75-plus hours a week on bug fixes, enhancing site performance and addressing technical debt — leaving no time for innovation or development.

After careful consideration and review, we have decided to partner with Pantheon, a website operations platform that provides access to modern developer-friendly tools, facilitates automation and agile workflows, and is a self-sustaining platform that will enable teams to reallocate resources to focus on other projects or enhancements.

With the migration to Pantheon, Red websites are also guaranteed to remain 99.99% operational during traffic spikes or server reboots and can continue to expand without the risk of outgrowing infrastructure. 

Moreover, with Pantheon, our teams will also have an opportunity to build a core foundation and establish a truly collaborative developer community where we can discuss ideas, share open-source software within UIC and innovate. 

How does this impact me?
Most of the work for this migration is behind the scenes and will not impact your access to or use of the various UIC websites on Red. However, during the migration, web forms that exist on Red sites will not be available, and there will be a content freeze.

Red admins and users have been notified of the migration and provided with instructions. We apologize for any inconvenience or disruption this may cause, and thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

How can I get support?
Any outages or failures can be reported at the UIC Help Center under the UIC IT Service Notices section. You can report issues or problems by selecting “Report an IT Problem.”

Operate with Excellence
The Red Infrastructure Modernization project supports UIC’s IT Strategy and is part of the Operate with Excellence Initiative focusing on efforts to upgrade services with current-generation, cloud-first solutions. 

We are very excited for the Red Infrastructure Modernization project and what it means for the UIC community. 


Jason Maslanka
Chief Technology Officer

Radikha Reddy
Director, Software Development and Delivery

Kimberly Charles
Director, Digital Experience

For more information, please contact:
Jason Maslanka

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